December 2, 2021

13 Min Read

Year 5 Season 4 Testing Grounds Update

Y5S4 Testing Grounds

Greetings once again fellow warriors, we hope you enjoyed today's Testing Grounds segment on Warrior's Den! The testing grounds will be open on December 30^th^ to test further changes to Dominion and a possible rework to Conqueror. If you missed the show or would like to once again go over everything again at your own pace, we go you covered. Just reading bellow for more information on the changes you can expect in Y5S4's Testing Grounds.

FH Y5S4 TestingGrounds Dec30Jan6 v02

Further Dominion Improvements

Let's start with what you can expect for Dominions.

Here we'll be summarizing the results from the last Dominion Testing Grounds and explain the reasoning behind the changes we are proposing this time.

Our first takeaway from the data was that Week 2's numbers were too low, giving Tier 4 Feats to only about 44% of players, as opposed to about 58% in regular Dominion. We can also see that the really high renown gains in Regular Dominion were scaled back by a lot, which we read as a lot less matches ending in completely one-sided splits and less matches where a team reaches their Tier 4s way too early on.

We started by looking at match times, which had seen a substantial rise during Week 1 of the TG. We were pleased to see that with the changes we made for Week 2, match times were back to almost exactly the same as regular Dominion values!

Reaching the same average match times for regular Dominion = GOOD

14% less Tier 4s reached = NOT SO GOOD

So, we kept digging.

What about Points?

What we saw here was even more encouraging! The changes we did to Points gains from the Control Zones and Minion Lane ended up resulting in an almost perfect split!

In an average Dominion match in the TG's 2^nd^ Week, we saw that teams gained about as many Points from Control Zones than they did from the Minion Lane, which is a significant improvement over regular Dominion, where Control Zones give on average 13% more Points than Minion Lane.

This convinced us the issue wasn't in the Points, so in this 2^nd^ Dominion TG, we will be playing with other levers. Starting with...

[FH] News - Testing Grounds - Feat Thresholds

Feat Unlock Thresholds! If we consider our current Renown gain values are correct, the best way to raise the percentage of players getting to Tier 4 Feats is to lower the requirement to reach it.

Looking at the data we received, we noticed that IF Feat 4 had been unlocked at 320 Renown, about 56% of players would have reached it, which is a lot closer to the regular Dominion average.

[FH] News - Testing Grounds - Capture Speed

Next, we took a long hard look at Capture Times.

This is where we saw a divide between players.

Those who enjoyed the 5.5 seconds capture time no matter what appreciated that it made "deathball" strategies, where a whole team sticks together and cycles between Control Zones obliterating any who stands in their path, less effective since they needed more time to capture Zones. It was also appreciated that it was easier to counter backcap attempts when capturing always took 5.5 seconds, allowing you to venture outside of your zone more comfortably and still be able to come back in time.

On the other side, some players enjoyed the faster capture times when more than one player was capturing and were sad to see it go. Faster captures mean faster healing after winning a fight on a Zone, as well as more Points and less situations where a Zone remains contested for most of the match instead of switching hands. They also liked to be rewarded for sticking together as a team. Not to mention it makes getting out of Breaking more likely. There is also the matter of the Beachhead map, which currently favors Defenders at the start of a match, who can ensure the Attackers cannot capture their Zone before it becomes contested.

In this 2^nd^ Testing Grounds, we are proposing a shorter, but still consistent capture time of 4.5 seconds as a compromise to both sides of the coin.

[FH] News - Testing Grounds - Renown

[FH] News - Testing Grounds - points

As for Renown bonuses and Points, we have opted to keep them exactly the same as TG #1, as we felt the results were on par with our goals and we didn't want to alter them too much after lower the Feat unlock Thresholds this much so as to not muddy the resulting D-A-T-A.

Renown Widget

And here's a little something new!

[FH] News - Testing Grounds - Capture Speed - Capture-converted

There are a lot of things happening in Dominion's text log: Renown gains, captured Zones, triple pings for a revive, going into and out of breaking, damage values, other players praising your skills at playing Orochi... So much that you'd sometimes be unable to read the info you really wanted before it scrolled away forever.

Enter the Renown Widget.

Now all Renown-related events are neatly centralized just over your renown bar! We're hoping this will further help players understand how their actions influence their Renown gains while also helping declutter the text log.

We'll be on the lookout for your opinions on this thing as well, we hope you like it!


[FH] News - Testing Grounds - Capture Speed - kill-converted 

The current state of the Conqueror pins him as a very defensive Hero with very little in the way of offense. This heavy focus on defense highlighted gameplay scenarios we want to steer away from with the direction the game is taking.

With this rework, we are trying to address three main points:

  • Improving the Hero's 1v1 potential with better chain offense and charging options.
  • Improve 1vX potential with a focus on the defensive possibilities of Full Block Stance.
  • Reduce frustration of facing the Hero and playing as them.

Below are the details of the changes you can expect to see:

Charging State:

  • Can now also be accessed in chains, at any time a Heavy can be performed
  • In chains: Releasing Heavy before Full Charge performs a chained Heavy Attack
  • In chains: Feintable at 300ms (up from 233ms when charging from neutral)
  • Reduced time to reach Full Charge to 600ms (from 900ms)
  • Stance change is now 100s (from 300ms)
  • State no longer has any defense
  • Can no longer be cancelled with a Dodge
  • Can no longer be cancelled with Shield Bash Mix Up
  • Charging no longer depletes stamina
  • Feinting and Guardbreaking now leads to a Quick Guardbreak.

Fully Charged:

  • Can be cancelled with a Guardbreak
  • Can be cancelled with a Dodge
  • Feint is 200ms (from 300ms)
  • No longer pauses Stamina Regeneration
  • Increased comfort of releasing input to execute an Unblockable Attack on the first possible frame after charging.

Developer's Comment: Being accessible from chains, faster to fully charge and less stamina-hungry, we are aiming at making the Conqueror's charging a more useful and visible part of the Hero's kit.

All Heavies:

  • Can now be Feinted.
  • Can no longer be canceled into Shield Uppercut
  • Miss, Hit and Regular Block Recoveries standardized at 800ms (down from 1000ms and 900ms)
  • Improved side trajectories

Opener Heavy:

  • No longer have Superior Block during the Strike

Heavy in chains:

  • Now Undodgeable
  • Increased forward movement

Developer's Comment: Conquerors were being held back by their inability to feint Heavies, rendering their offense risky as they had to commit to every Heavy Attack, cancel them into a slow Shield Uppercut or a very defensive and stamina-hungry Full Block Stance.

With the improved Shield Bash Mix-Up and Undodgeable Heavies in chains, we decided to remove the ability to cancel Heavies with a Shield Uppercut to keep the amount of Bashes coming at the player in check and to prevent "Undodgeable into Bash" cancels.

We've removed the Superior Block from Heavies as it let the Conqueror parry on Light Attack timing and still block a Heavy, negating one of the most basic mix-ups.

Zone Attack:

  • No longer has Full Block
  • Can no longer be held
  • Now a single hit attack with improved range and trajectory
  • 600ms (from 700ms)
  • 15 damage (from 8)
  • Now causes a Medium Hit Reaction (from Heavy)
  • No longer causes higher knockback when in Revenge
  • Now initiates chains
  • Can no longer be performed from Full Block Stance

Developer's Comment: The Full Block property of the Zone Attack allowed it to continue being used as a sort of Option Select. By improving its range, trajectory and allowing it to initiate chains, we hope to make it a healthier move that will still be useful in outnumbered scenarios.

Shield Bash Mix Up (in chains)

  • 500ms (from 800ms)
  • No longer wall staggers
  • Now causes Light Reaction (from Heavy)
  • 10 Stamina to perform (from 20)
  • No longer chains on Miss
  • Improved forward movement
  • No longer deals Stamina damage or pauses Stamina regeneration
  • Reduced Knockback

Developer's Comments:

While the previous Shield Bash Mix Up had a strong knockback that caused wall staggers, it was so prohibitively slow that it contributed to players never wanting to chain with the Hero.

By making it 500ms, lowering its stamina cost, removing the wall stagger and ability to chain on Miss, we are reducing its potential power, but making it a much more appealing tool to use mid-chain that forces the opponent to think about possibly having to dodge after every Light or Heavy Attack.

Improving its forward movement should also help target swapping for surprise attacks in group fights.

Flail Uppercut:

  • On a Shield Bash or Shield Bash Mix Up Hit: Light input performs Flail Uppercut, Heavy input performs a chained Heavy Attack.
    • Flail Uppercut:
      • 9 Stamina
      • 12 Damage
      • 500ms
      • Uninterruptible Stance
      • Causes medium hit reaction
      • Chains to Chained Light and Heavy Attacks
      • Cannot be target swapped

Developer's Comment: With Shield Bash Mix Up now being 500ms, we did not want Conqueror now having access to an infinite "Light Attack  > Shield Bash Mix Up" chain flow. With the introduction of the Flail Uppercut as a dedicated follow-up to Bashes that does not link to another Bash, we are forcing the Conqueror into doing something else before being able to perform another Bash while still giving them an Uninterruptible Stance move to more reliably deal damage after a successful Bash.

We're also letting Conqueror forego their guaranteed Flail Uppercut to instead go directly to a chained Heavy Attack, should they want to surprise an external attacker preying for a Guardbreak.

Full Block Stance:

  • There is no longer a Stamina Cost to blocking attacks in this state
  • Remaining in Full Block Stance no longer pauses Stamina Regeneration
  • Can no longer perform Zone Attack from this stance
  • Entering Full Block Stance while in block stun now links directly to it without any vulnerability
  • Entry from any state other than Neutral or Charging State from Neutral is now 200ms (from 300ms)
  • Full Block Stance and its recovery can be canceled by a Dodge
  • Blocking hits no longer causes the Conqueror to move backward.
  • All Attacks' recoveries can be cancelled into Full Block Stance (these cancels are much earlier in the recoveries than they used to be)
    • After a Light Reaction (Light Attacks):
      • Miss: 200-400ms
      • Hit/Regular Block: 200-300ms
    • After a Medium Reaction (Heavies, Zone Attack, Flail Uppercut):
      • 200-400ms
      • Press Heavy after blocking an attack in this stance to perform Scutage Collection.

Scutage Collection (new move):

  • Has Full Block
  • Unblockable
  • 12 Stamina
  • 20 Damage
  • Initiates chains

Developer's Comment: While we are making Full Block Stance more vulnerable to Guardbreak by removing the ability to Zone Attack from it, we are also increasing its efficiency as a defensive and counter-attacking tool by making it much more accessible, faster, more stamina-efficient and making the special move after a successful Block a better team fighting tool.

Light Attacks:

  • Miss recoveries shortened to 800ms (from 900ms)
  • Performing two Light Attacks in the same stance no longer throws a 900ms Light Attack
  • Raised forward movement of Light Attacks in chains.

Developer's Comment: Reducing Miss recovery, making all Lights 500ms and improving target swapping for Lights in chains are all nice quality of life changes for the Hero which should improve both his 1v1 and 1vX game with more viable options and less dead ends.

Unblockable Heavy (from Full Charge):

  • Now all 700ms (Top was 800ms)
  • 32 Damage (from 30 Side and 32 Top)
  • Increased forward movement

Developer's Comment: After a Flail Uppercut, opponents should be afraid to dodge due to the possibility of an Undodgeable Heavy coming their way, and with the Flail Uppercut's Medium Hit Reaction and faster time to become Fully Charged, Conquerors now have the opportunity to incorporate the Unblockable Heavy into their 1v1 gameplan.

Shield Bash:

  • Forward Shield Bash (from neutral): From 200ms to 500ms in Dodge Forward (from 100ms-500ms)
  • No longer deals Stamina damage or pauses Stamina regeneration
  • Reduced Knockback

Developer's Comment: With the changes to stamina damage and regeneration, we want to steer away from Conqueror being able to keep opponents out of Stamina for extended periods of time using Shield Bash.

Dodge Superior Block:

  • When Superior Blocking an attack during a Dodge, press Heavy to perform Scutage Collection.

Developer's Comment: While we are keeping the Shield Bash possible from a Superior Block Dodge, this new opportunity should be even more desirable in terms of speed, damage and trajectory.

We look forward to your feedback when testing grounds starts. As usual, you can submit your feedback through multiple channels; we'll monitor social media and will send a survey to formally gather your feedback. Be sure to leave feedback if you want to be heard!

FH Y5S4 TG Image

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