Combat encounters are not very well designed/implemented atm

Let me start by saying that I have about 4 hours of game time. I’ve beaten the tutorial boss and the 2nd boss. I’ve been using the two-handed sword since the beginning.

There’s a fairly common 3-enemy encounter that I’ve come across many times that seems to be problematic:

1 Swashbuckler (rapier/buckler - can parry)
1 Heavy Soldier (tower shield - can block/counter)
1 Marksman (crossbow - ranged)

Ranged attacks from the Marksman are quite frequent and can only be dodged by rolling. Unless you deal with him quickly, he’ll take your health down quite quickly. The issue comes when you’re trying to close the distance. After rolling twice to dodge the arrows, a third roll towards him may cause him to dodge backwards, allowing him to effectively kite you, while you’re out of stamina.

There doesn’t seem to be a melee ability that can suitably deal with the Swashbuckler’s auto-parry. When he turns on auto-parry, he basically can’t be engaged.

The Heavy Soldier’s tower shield is kind of difficult to deal with because the game often causes him to teleport when he charges you and knocks you on the ground.

The player has barely enough stamina to dodge all of the attacks and arrows. Even if the player does manage to successfully evade all of it, there’s no stamina left to attack. When the player closes distance against the ranged enemy, he leaps backwards to create more distance. When the player tries to engage the melee targets, the parry and counter attack are there to immediately put the player back into defensive posturing. If the player plays the encounter well, the reward is a slow death by attrition. The player isn’t really given any tools. There’s no “kick ability” to break through enemy shields, nor is the ranged enemy forced into a bad position if distance is closed. There’s only a few ways that this encounter would make sense:

  • Giving the player more stamina, or introducing a “perfect dodge” system where the player’s timing is rewarded by not deducting stamina.
  • Making it so that the Marksman doesn’t shoot so frequently (freeing up some stamina by not having to dodge so many arrows), so that the player can have stamina to attack and engage the melee enemies.
  • Not allowing the Marksman to leap a half-screen backwards so that the player can close distance (preventing the marksman from “kiting” the player).
  • Give the player a reliable ability to break through enemy shield postures (auto-parry/greatshield).

As it exists, the only thing that the player can do is to initially run from the encounter, find a suitable choke point area, and then kamikaze the two melee enemies while spamming healing items.

My suspicion is that stronger gearing will play a role in evening out the odds for these encounters, but until then, it seems mostly untenable.

2 Likes

Agreed. I have to say it’s odd gameplay to lose the ability to attack at all. It’s really not fun. We should always be able to swing our weapons. Always. There should be the equivalent of a basic attack that’s free of resources at least. Dodging and sprinting sure, makes sense but to lose the ability to do all of them is madness. We move slow enough as is, losing our attacks in instances like you mention is wild and punishing.