Why Do I Suck So Bad At Combat?

I have spent hours and hours in the arena trying to learn combat the “proper” way and I have made zero progress. Even when doing a training fight with wooden swords I just get beat all to hell. I am trying to do any of the things I’m supposed to do: parry, dodge, combos, ANYTHING, and none of them work. I might occasionally get in a parry or a dodge but if I IMMEDIATELY follow up with a slash, I’m still too slow, he parries my attack and I’m back picking my teeth up out of the mud.

I spent literally over an hour trying to land one single “Pommel Strike” combo, stab, left slash, right-bottom slash, and never landed it even once. My training partner recovers from the stab faster than I can make a follow-up left slash and promptly beats the shit out of me with a three- or four-step combo of his own that I am completely unable to avoid.

I thought maybe I was too slow because of the armor so I stripped down to leather and cloth - no difference.

I thought maybe my performance would be better with a higher framerate so I set the graphics to Low but the framerate stays at a blazing 20-25 FPS whether I’m on Low or Ultra-High.

I have been tempted repeatedly to hurl my mouse across the room but the small rational part of my brain manages to restrain my hand before the MASSIVE feelings of frustration can completely overwhelm me. I think a big part of my frustration comes from the expectation, set up by the tutorial, that these techniques I am supposed to be doing should work in combat. And then I try them and they just don’t. But they SHOULD! And they DON’T! BUT THEY SHOULD! ARRRRRRGH!

I just don’t know what else I can do. Suck less? Yeah, okay. But it’s not like this is my first time in this kind of environment. M&B:W has similar combat mechanics and I fair reasonably well in that.

Is this how it’s supposed to be? I get that it’s beta and at the same time this is the client we’re stuck with until release, whenever that might be. So, is this how it’s supposed to be given the client we’re stuck with?

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Ha ha! Thanks. Yeah, I’m trying to work on that. =o)

After reading through some similar threads, I’m trying a new game with the squire background to see if that makes a difference; others have said it does so I’ll give it a shot.

But that does beg the question… if your character starts out with low skill, how are you ever supposed to increase his skill if the experience is so horribly frustrating that it causes you to tear your hair out before you manage to get a single skill point improvement?

Well these starting skills (squire, etc) are only for the beta, as you start a certain way through the game, in order to give you feel for how the character would be if you focus on combat vs diplomacy up until that point. So maybe suddenly trying to fight, even though your character is leveled towards diplomacy is a bad idea?0_o

I haven’t played much of the beta, I can’t really give advice on how to become better.

It’s supposed to be easier to pull off combos and dodges and parries as you level up your skill. I imagine the absolutely terrible FPS has something to do with timing too.

As for real combat, outside that little arena box, attack, stamina dump, then press run and pull back until you’re out of range. Recharge your stamina and repeat. Definitely aim for the head if they have no helm, and you also do more damage from behind. Keep moving so you don’t get one shot by an arrow.

If you want to win in arena, just push the opponent out of the door.

Well, I started out as a Jack of All Trades background which means he should be half-way decent at diplomacy, stealth, and combat. Instead, he SUCKS at combat. It’s not a good idea to set up a false expectation that the character you’ve created should be reasonably capable and then find out that he literally can’t dodge a single blow against a training partner.

So, I created a character with the squire background and headed straight over to the arena. I can now dodge about 10% of the time successfully if I’m concentrating on nothing but dodging. My training partner dodges or blocks 90% of my attempts at attacks even when feinting on every attack. So again we’re in a situation where I’m being told one thing, “Press this button at this time and THIS will happen” but when I press this button at this time, I just get my ass kicked. So I try again. And again. And again. And eventually I just quit the game because I’m not having fun.

I mean, ultimately, that’s the whole point, right? Games are created for the enjoyment of the player, aren’t they? They are made as a distraction from the real world, a place where we can sit and relax and be faced with a reasonable challenge, invest a reasonable amount of time overcoming it, and have fun doing so. This isn’t that. After having invested hours into attempting to overcome the challenge of a training match… A TRAINING MATCH, I feel virtually no closer to success than when I started. In the long run, this experience just isn’t fun. This, of course, is my opinion. Judging from the similar comments I’ve seen on other threads, I suspect I’m not alone in that sentiment.

But the issue is most certainly not an insurmountable one. Tweak a few numbers in the code, open the window a bit for dodge/parry, narrow the window for the opponent, etc. I’m sure the issue can be addressed if the development team chooses to do so.


You know what would be neat, actually? Put the training partner on a sliding scale so if you’re not hitting him, the window for his dodge/parry adjusts itself until you start hitting him. If you’re hitting him too easily, it adjusts the other way. If he’s hitting you constantly, his backswing starts taking longer to give you time to dodge/parry; if he’s not hitting you enough, it adjusts the other way. That would make training something one could always do to sharpen one’s skill a little bit more and would ensure it never becomes completely trivial.

They are. The problem is some people will complain things are too hard, and others will complain they’re too easy.

I like the system of Henry’s stats making him more effective at combat, and everything else. As Henry gets better, it will be easier for you the player to use Henry more effectively.

In the alpha, when there were only two enemies, people were getting crushed, and complaining that it was too hard. People were saying it was absolutely impossible to beat multiple opponents. Obviously they just aren’t any good. I managed to beat the entire Cuman and bandit camp without saving the game. At one point I had more than ten enemies attacking me.

Henry is just some guy. He’s not even a soldier. He’s not supposed to be smashing through people like they were low level boars or slimes in a traditional RPG.

My opinion is that people are too obsessed with fighting in that tiny fenced off box and they should learn to fight real opponents.


I completely agree with you, I really like the realistic combat approach of this game. You are not playing a kind of “super swordman” like in the witcher or assassin’s creed games. You are just a blacksmith son, maybe you’ve learn a bit in your childhood by yourself with in the woods but no more.
In reality, when you are against 3-4 opponents, well…you’d better be really good with your sword or have a very good armor else you are dead…you can also run I and try a different approach if your are not heavily stuffed.
In my point of view the combat system is not that hard to understand, it will take a lot of time to master it though, in terms of timing, movements, speed etc…
Maybe you difficulties are related to your FPS ? I also personnaly plays with a controller, I didn’t try with a keyboard and a mouse, maybe it’s more difficult ?

Although i did find the ‘‘training’’ session to be nearly impossible to ‘‘win’’, i found out that the actual enemies in the game arent as good as the swordmaster, so they are pretty much easier to deal with. Also, if you want to bet groschen in the arena, you can easily fight the ‘‘Average’’ opponent type and make tons of money. They are not hard to beat (and im not talking about pushing them out of the arena - on a sidenote, i hope that this is removed from the actual game when it launches, cause i made like 5k groschen with this, and its retarded :stuck_out_tongue: )

Hehe…considering that they should not be so rich, isn’t that some kind of…“exploit” :wink:
By the way did you manage to level up your skills like in herbalism ? I didn’t spend so much time in the arena.

Yea, they shouldnt be so rich in the first place. And even if they were so rich, you shouldnt be able to get unlimited ammount of money. It ruins the game, i hope we can get a reply from a DEV, telling us that we wont be able to get unlimited ammount of money this way.
Although one could argue, just dont do it :stuck_out_tongue: Buuuuuuuuuuuuut, it should be removed anyway i guess

I understand this concept and I completely agree that it makes sense. My problem is not so much with how effective Henry is, it’s how effective his opponent is while trying to learn the combat system. In the early stages of any game, the mechanics of the game need to be taught and developed slowly. It is ineffective to tell someone what keys to press and then put them against an opponent where those keys do not achieve the desired result 90+% of the time.

If you’ve ever tried learning a martial art or a new sport or competitive… I don’t know… basket weaving… you don’t take a new customer right in off the street and put him up against an olympic-level athlete to get his ass kicked over and over and over and over and over and over again. You don’t do that for two main reasons: 1) the new guy isn’t actually LEARNING anything from that - he’s just acting as a rag doll for the better opponent 2) it’s a great way to lose a customer - it virtually guarantees that he will not become a paying customer in the long run.

Learning a new combat system is the same way. It is not effective to make a new player lose and lose and lose and lose and lose and lose and lose and lose and lose and then tell them, “Don’t worry; it will get easier as your character’s skill numbers improve.” Because that’s not really true - that player will give up LONG before his character’s skill numbers ever have a chance to improve.

And look at it from another perspective - the normal learning curve of anything starts out low on the left side and then gradually slopes up and to the right as new elements are introduced, challenges increase, etc. Right? That’s the definition of a learning curve. What you’re talking about is just the opposite of that. You’re saying it’s okay to have a system where it starts out virtually impossible to learn and then slopes downward to the right, getting easier in time. That’s exactly the reverse of what it should be. It needs to start out easy and gradually get harder because that’s how we learn.

EDIT: This is also why we don’t teach differential calculus in kindergarten.

Yeah, my Herbalism is at 18 I think. I’ve definitely been running around doing quests, exploring, killing cumans, picking flowers. And now I’m trying to learn the fighting system. I understand that fighting cumans is WAY easier than the training fights (which is part of the problem) but I’m trying to learn how to fight the right way instead of just spamming a few random mouse clicks and running away to catch my breath.

And another thing that I’ve heard people say a lot that I disagree with in principal is this argument that “of course you can’t fight; you’re a diplomat!” Bull. Any character… ANY character… should be able to LEARN how to fight. Everyone starts out somewhere, right? It doesn’t really matter whether I have 100 ranks in speech or 0 - when it comes time to learn how to fight, even a character with a background in diplomacy should be able to start learning. I’ll grant you that a character with 100 ranks in speech and 0 ranks in sword should be about as good a fighter as someone with 0 ranks in diplomacy and 0 ranks in sword - in other words, a brand new character - but even so, that character should be able to START learning how to use a sword.

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Hmm-m-m, I can only give you some tips by which you can kill an entire camp of bandits: Use fraudulent attacks and try to separate enemies for more distance and try to attack the middle for you to the max, but keep the stamina for a possible counterattack by the enemy.
Also, if you decide to kill the entire camp, as I do(Which is very dangerous without armor plate), then if you do decide, try to move in the forest, when the battle will starts. This will help to hide from archers, and as well helps to confuse opponents among the trees.
Oh, I forgot to say this. In the arena, opponents stronger than in the big world. In the same camp of bandits, we can safely kill three in one battle. Still, each of them has its own skill level as a player, so maybe you are not strong in the arena, but can kill someone outside of it.
Maybe, this’s will helps to you.
P. S I am from Russia and i don’t have good skill in English. There may be mistakes in grammar or somewhere else. I’m sorry for that.

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The trainer teaches you the basic controls. You’ve now learned them. You don’t know how to use them well, but it’s not a training montage. It’s a basic how to guide. You can then train against some lesser opponents to put those newly learned skills to practical use, or you can ignore all that and become a world class diplomat or rogue.

As for the diplomat, not being able to fight, that’s exactly what it means. By choosing diplomat, it means you haven’t fought up until that point in the game. The beta is set a few hours into the game. The alpha was set after the beta and did not have diplomat, squire or Jack options.

Well the funny thing is the Beta is technically mid way through the game anyway by most means Henry’s skills are under developed.

Training in the arena is hard as hell not so much because of the difficulty but because the amount of entities that load in that area really drag performance done so low that the FPS and Stuttering make it nearly impossible to properly time dodges and parries.

The learning curve is real - :sweat: :angry: :rage: :rage: :weary: :frowning: :open_mouth: :grin: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :moneybag:

The arena was great for training in the alpha performance was much better in the area (still crap though), I personally avoid it all together now when I play.

Id suggest fighting the enemies around the map they are much easier to get a handle on.

Also I didn’t read every post in the thread so if it has not been suggested yet do lots of archery this will build up your strength with benefits your swordplay as well.

OP does lay out some good points about the Combat system, even when I like the combat system for its realistic hair raising challenge of fighting against more than 1 numbers, it does come off as a rather heavy barrier for those unfamiliar to get good at the swordfighting. The combat works, but its how the devs design the game to teach the player thats more important.

KCD’s Combat is perfectly fine, I will have to state it first, But the issues that made it very unintiutive is firstly the lack of Game Mechanics feedback for the player. The arena at the camp is in a way, showing very rigid feedback that does not fluidly teaches the player the mechanics properly. In the arena, I am forced to learn the controls one by one, and even if I do pass each test, I have little feedback whether I’m just wildly pressing buttons or doing it correctly, and its even worse that I had to progress to the next test while I try to digest the previous one.

Secondly, I would suggest certain indications for block, parry and dodge. I know the game focuses about realism and having indicators feel too unrealistic, but perhaps there should be an organic alternative to showcase that the player has successfully blocked/parried/dodged himself. I still couldnt figure out when is the right time to parry and I always feel the window of opportunity is too small to be able to get into the combat.

Thirdly, Optimisation, enough said.

I will say the offensive fighting mechanics of the game work well, but I think the defenses need to be worked out.

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It is a good post, indeed have some feedback like 'Too fast", or “Too slow” can help the player understand when it’s the good moment to parry, counter or even push the next button of your combo.
I can imagine this in two way, either keeping a realistic approach and just make the swordmaster talking to you “Too slow/Too fast”…or adding some kind of HUD elements to help too, (why not implementing like in the Witcher 1 game some attack icon which changing to indicate when it’s time to press the button?).
Why not create the two and add an option to activate HUD too if necessary. (Talking about that, adding options to activate/disable HUD elements can be cool, really), it’s immertion breaking for me to have this big yellow cross on ennemies.

As much as I am looking forward to the game, combat is the one area that I am slightly worried about. Hope we’re either able to adjust the difficulty or non-combat solutions for quests are actually viable. I favour a more diplomatic route at any rate, though I lack the patience for being sneaky, which makes avoiding combat altogether difficult. Guess a bow will be my best option :slight_smile:

It has said from the beginning that most if not all quests should be achievable without combat.

@ProkyBrambora from your QA experience you got any light to shed on this one?