Best posts made by AnimusLover
How Montreal allowed fans to ruin the core mechanics of Valhalla. Ubisoft, please read.
Riddle me this: How does a company who has worked on a franchise for 12 years manage to wreck all of the core mechanics in the latest instalment? By taking too much to heart what a small minority of fans who have no idea how to make a video game says.
For about 2 years we had the “purists” complaining about Odyssey. Some of it was valid, a lot of it was just petty and should have been ignored. The minority were vocal and the majority were too silent in their praise and the result is Valhalla – a game that almost feels like it was made exclusively to apologise for a game that was widely successful and undoubtedly caused the massive increase in sales at launch.
I have over 100 hours now in Valhalla. Last time I looked I was at power level 317. I have yet to complete the story but I have explored the map like crazy and cleared most of it. I know this world pretty much inside out now so believe me when I tell you this is one of the worst Assassin’s Creed games ever made. It’s not bad but it’s not good either. It has so many problems both big and small that anything that’s good about it is almost instantly offset by the bad. That means the moment to moment gameplay alternates on a dime between fun and frustrating making it hard to discern whether I like it or not.
My god, what have they done to the movement? It’s the worst in the series. Sluggish, clunky, poorly animated. In trying to fix the light-as-a-feather feeling that has plagued the series since Unity they have gone totally overboard and made a character that eats far too many cakes. (There’s actually a world event where Eivor answers riddles for the prospect of cake so I’m not even sure I’m exaggerating).
I honestly can’t tell if I’m running or jogging half the time so I just spend most of the time jogging. It’s easer on the thumb since they made the ill-conceived decision to toggle L3 to run in a game that is well over 100 hours long. Why did they think this would be a good idea??? Oh yeah because a couple of PC players whinged about run and walk speed. In the older Assassin’s Creed games you had to manually activate sprint as well but R2/RT is far less burdensome on the finger.
It gets worse. They brought back fall damage because people complained about the lack of fall damage being unrealistic. What these fans failed to understand is that Quebec removed fall damage knowing full well that a world full of mountains is not inherently fun to traverse. In the older games fall damage made sense because entire cities were built around a robust parkour system whereby your skills as to how to navigate it were being tested. In Valhalla, Odyssey and Origins parkour is simply a means to an end and the world is not designed for flashy acrobatics (that's why they made it so you can just climb anywhere to bypass it entirely). Now we’re being punished for jumping off a cliff to get to our destination quicker when we can hardly be blamed for a parkour system and level design that is a slog to get through. In actual fact, I find the fall damage in Valhalla even more immersion breaking because I have survived jumps that what would have killed me instantly in Assassins Creed II but in Valhalla ‘tis but a scratch.
And where have the haystacks gone??? Often I can’t make out where they are when performing a leap of faith because they’re hidden or there are no birds to indicate the jumping off point. Is this the game being meta? Like, hiding the haystacks to test our faith? Because it’s pretentious at best and a waste of time at worst.
It gets even worse. Horse riding is almost pointless. Good on Montreal for improving the animations but the actual getting around on the horse is awful. It’s not the horse’s fault; it’s the world design. There are too many obstructions which means you’re constantly being interrupted. There are hardly any roads to follow and most of them take you around the whole country before they actually get you to your destination which means you are forced to just ride your horse on the rocks. Building the stables in the settlement is a must to alleviate the frustration of not being able to take the horse in water initially. This game actually expects you to swap between horse and longship like every 30 seconds prior to building it. Don’t waste my time.
Oh, but it gets worse! They’ve brought back the climbing puzzles which hilariously exposes how bad the new parkour system is. As an example, the shanty chase sequences from Black Flag are awkwardly plonked in (you’re chasing tattoos now) because the parkour system and camera is not designed in a way to accommodate it lol. It’s clunky, it’s not fluid, animations don’t flow into each other like the old games and you have to yell at it to get it to recognise climbing on trees as a valid input. Auto low-jump when close to the ground was not bothersome in Origins and Odyssey but it is now because of these puzzles. Honestly, Eivor looks like an overweight old man trying to catch his hat in the wind. What’s worse is that I replayed Rogue and Black Flag recently so it’s even more jarring how bad it is because I have that fresh comparison.
In short, the movement, free running and climbing in this game is a disaster. They need to patch in an auto sprint option if this is not already buried in the menus.
Now let’s talk about the combat because this to me is so tragic. Combat in Assassin’s Creed has always been weak but they finally improved it in Origins, and then the combat in Odyssey was pure joy.
What a sad step back.
Valhalla somehow makes it worse than both Origins and Odyssey, even doubling down on some of the flaws. It tries to merge the combat in Origins with Odyssey and the result is an awkward hybrid that never feels grounded enough to be satisfying to pull off and never batpoop crazy enough to be fun. When it works it can be enjoyable - I appreciate how much slower it is (I’m using a great sword on primary and axe on secondary) but when it doesn’t it’s eye-roll worthy.
Firstly, getting rid of shields in Odyssey was one of the best decisions Quebec could have made. It forced you to play offensively and not turtle like a coward. The devs obviously discovered that people were abusing the dodge button and so this, with the return of shields, is probably why we have the stamina bar to offset it. I don't mind the stamina bar (after initially being against it when I first saw it in previews) because it forces you to parry which I do anyway. The problem is when you come across boss fights or wild animals where 98% of their attacking moves are unblockable, forcing you to dodge or cheese it by simply doing the side step dance. They added in a stamina bar without redesigning A.I. behaviour to match it. You can use weight runes to improve stamina management but that's a waste of runes IMO. On the subject of runes, the game tells you that the red rune attacks are unblockable but some of the orange ones are unblockable too so which is it? They need to make the colour coding more clear.
Also, the parrying feedback is very bad – as in you don’t know when you’ve performed a successful parry so you’re left wondering why your health isn’t going down. They need to look at Ghost of Tsushima as to how to make it clear to the player that the parry was successful.
The adrenaline bar management is more punishing which is fine but the actual abilities are weak and half of them are buggy and don't work or easily cancelled by enemies. The rations system is terrible mainly because it's so limited and annoying to scavenge. They should look to Bethesda games as to how to do health bars that don't auto regenerate or better yet refer to the early AC games where this was done so much better.
And what the hell have they done to range combat? The bow aiming SUCKS. I wonder how ‘hunter’ players are getting along because I cannot imagine playing purely as an archer would be fun. You can’t craft arrows (stupid decision), you can’t quick swap between bows AFAIK and aiming is broken so the only thing it has going for it is just hitting weak points for max stun damage and breaking door barriers.
I haven’t even got to the boss fights yet. They are AWFUL. They spam far too many unblockable attacks in quick succession, recover far too quickly from staggers without warning and they dodge all over the place which exposes how loose the lock-on is so you spend half the time in boss fights just trying to close the gap and by the time you do the boss has already dodged out of sight, it’s a waste of time. The zealots are a prime example of how Valhalla does not learn anything from Odyssey and instead acts more like a sequel to Origins. In Odyssey, they replaced the phylakes with the wonderful mercenary system which rewarded and punished you in equal measure. The zealots brings back the same problem the phylakes had: a boss fight that takes place in the open world where any fool can join in.
You could argue that boss fights can have adds but there is a fundamental difference between a boss fight with adds and what Valhalla does with the zealots: adds in boss fights are tailor-made for the boss. The zealot fights take place in a dynamic open world which means you have infinite number of spawning enemies on the road and all sorts of animals coming out of the woods for a free for all - and the animals never attack the zealot or other enemies, only you. A fight that would normally take me about a minute to clear now has to take 5 minutes because I’m dealing with infinite random enemies.
And you wanna know what the worst part is about combat? It’s too easy and exploitable. Parrying is OP, you can just spam it to get enemies into a stunned state then one-shot them hence why in boss fights they had to make most of the attacks non blockable. It's like they listened to the fans who complained about the lack of finishers and so made a combat system where 50% of it is just finishers. And don’t even get me started on the raven and the wolf abilities. They’re the only abilities with cooldowns AFAIK because they do such a ridiculous amount of stun and health damage that they make boss fights a joke. I'm doing a bear playthrough on Normal difficulty and I'm unkillable in regular fights and I've only ever died in boss fights where the boss had a red skull. Says it all really.
And finally, the stealth. Oh boy, this is a new low for the series. The stealth makes Odyssey look like Splinter Cell. My expectations were low but holy crap I didn’t think it would be this bad. Is there even a stealth system in this? You could argue that there isn’t. One of my few gripes with Odyssey is how Quebec used power to mask weak level design and poor enemy A.I. In Valhalla they don’t even bother. You have the ‘guaranteed assassination’ option which exposes how bad the stealth is because now that the joy of making a good build that one shots enemies is gone the embarrassing A.I. and non existent level design is laid bare for all to see. The A.I. is so inconsistent - one minute dumb as rocks, not able to detect someone right in front of them, the next they have eyes at the back of the head from miles away. Chain assassination works when it feels like it and assassinations don’t feel good. The sound is great but the impact is off and there is only like 1 or 2 animations dedicated to it. It’s weird.
Also, why does it take 155 years to activate eagle vision? This was one of the first things I noticed when I first started the game and I knew instantly it was going to annoy me. Again, it’s taxing on the right thumb. Is it just so that getting the skill where crouching undetected automatically tags everyone feels more rewarding or have they simply forgot how to do eagle vision? On that note, visibility is very poor. I can’t actually see what the enemies look like? That could just be my eyesight but in Odyssey I felt like enemy designs were very distinctive. Here, I can’t make out their faces. It’s hard to explain.
And the social stealth is so pandering! They’ve taken the social stealth from AC1 but have forgotten that the social stealth in AC1…sucked. Sorry. I love AC1 but the social stealth in that was the worst thing about it. They improved it in AC II by forcing you to navigate social stealth in close, tight spaces in order to pass guards. In fact, in the older games social stealth was imperative to completing a lot of the missions successfully.
In Valhalla the streets are too wide and there’s not enough people to actually blend in with (as the performance would surely tank if there was, like Unity) but worse yet there’s not even many guards! Therefore, there’s no reason to walk slow because there are so many ways for you to hide just by crouching and running on rooftops. They needed more patrolling guards on the streets to encourage you to use the ‘blend in’ spots but there’s barely any around, they’re all cramped in red zones so what’s the point? It’s embarrassing when you can’t even do what you used to do right. Patrice must be laughing his head off.
Then there’s the tailing mission in the Lunden arc. I thought I was going to die of cringe when it happened. It’s watered down because the parkour and social stealth is so weak that there’s no point in using them to avoid detection when you can just RUN behind the target while keeping your distance. Literally, I RAN behind the target to tail him. It’s a joke.
Ubisoft, please, never listen to the vocal minority again. Fans think they know what they want but in practice they don’t. I want the old AC back too but I recognise that context is important. Therefore, if you’re going to bring back old gameplay ideas you need to move away from bi- annual/yearly releases to give yourself the time and polish to do it properly rather than tacking it on in a world design that was never conceived with these ideas in mind.
Thanks for reading and sorry for the long post but I had a lot to say.
(Please don’t post spoilers for the story either in response. It’s not even relevant as I’m talking purely about the core gameplay mechanics. The story is a whole other mess for another thread.)
To the community: Please do not purchase the new expansion.
Ubisoft won't learn unless we vote with our wallets.
On principle I don't have an issue with Ubisoft charging extra for this expansion as the rules of the season pass were made clear what it would be covering.
However, because Valhalla has been a buggy mess with one problem after another with each update, many of which Ubisoft have failed to fix - including the Majesty in the Dark quest in Siege of Paris - the least they could do is make the Ragnarok expansion free for season pass holders and those who bought gold and ultimate editions as an apology. It is not acceptable to keep introducing new game breaking bugs with every update with the promise to fix them while promoting your online store in-game and demanding more money for additional content. Valhalla has been the most broken AC game ever produced BY FAR. Not even Unity or Assassin's Creed III actively halted my progression in their campaigns.
I bought the gold edition at launch and you fooled me once which is the only reason why I've played the DLCs. Never again. At least, not with the Montreal team.
I implore other players to do the same if you want to see change.
“Must be barred from the other side” A.K.A. The open world of Valhalla is committed to wasting your time.
The open world of Valhalla is not rewarding to explore and wastes your time.
I’d be really interested to hear other people’s thoughts on this, especially from those who do enjoy this world. This won’t be a complete moan thread; I do have some positive things to say but I feel like this is yet another aspect that Origins and Odyssey did so much better.
Let’s start with the main thing that inspired this thread: In Valhalla there are a lot of collectibles and I think Ubisoft tried to prove that they hadn’t just mindlessly spammed the map with them by locking virtually every single one behind a mini puzzle in an effort to make resource collecting seem more “engaging”. The problem is collectibles in excess are inherently dull no matter how you frame it. Therefore, all the puzzles do is anchor you down with something that you would normally do in passing i.e. on the way to the actual main event. What’s worse is that they are superfluous, low effort and BORING. Here’s one I’ve just made up but is stereotypical of the type you will encounter again and again in Valhalla:
There’s a wealth chest but it’s behind a breakable wall. You don’t have explosive arrows yet so you need an oil jar to break the wall. However, the oil jar is in another house. You can’t enter the house through traditional means because the door is “barred from the other side”. So you need to shoot the wooden window to get in the house that’s barred but oh nos the oil jar is behind several pillars that you need to move. After completing the oh so challenging task of… moving pillars you then break the bar on the door, grab the oil jar and skip to the breakable wall. When you manage to explode the wall you finally get to the wealth chest but you discover that it requires a key to open it. You read the note on the table next to the wealth chest left by the poor soul who was once the owner of said chest. The note gives you a clue about where the key might be located. You pull up your raven and scan the area outside and discover that the key is on some dead guy by a tree. You grab the key (maybe read the note on the dead guy explaining how he met his demise), run back and FINALLY open the chest.
This isn’t a puzzle, this is an endless goose chase where you have to do the thing to do the thing to do the thing to get that other thing to do the thing and I can’t STAND games like that. It’s not too bad the first 20 times but beyond that it’s exhausting, needless busy work in a world that is not rewarding to explore. Thankfully, you can bypass most “barred from the other side” puzzles by using ‘dive of valkyries’ because this game is so unfinished and untested that the developers did not catch that the AOE for this ability extends beyond combat.
BUT THE ABSOLUTE WORST THING about the open world of Valhalla is that it commits the cardinal sin of locking content behind story progression. Not only is this immersion breaking but what it means is you could waste several minutes trying to get a collectible and fail because you needed to progress further in the story or do another activity in order to access it. For instance, at no point does the game tell you that you need to defeat all daughters of Lerion to obtain Thor’s helmet. Consequently, you learn to condition yourself to not bother with collectibles that take longer than 2 minutes to grab until a story arc in that region is complete. As a quality of life feature they could have marked such collectibles with a different colour. Problem solved.
Perhaps the best example of the world of Valhalla not being rewarding to explore whilst simultaneously holding rewards hostage to the story is in its loot system. I knew early on that I wanted the Thor set because looking at its perks it best suited my playstyle. Unfortunately, you can’t get the final piece until after completing the Order of the Ancients story line. That means I had to either play handicapped with a 3 piece for most of the game or switch to another completed armour set in the meantime and potentially waste upgrade resources on a set I didn’t even desire. By the time I got the final piece (the hood) I was pretty much done with all combat aspects to the game. Very, very poor loot system.
Speaking of the Order of the Ancients, wow did they botch that. Firstly, I think it’s bugged? The silhouette is too bright, revealing EXACTLY what each member looks like to the point that it spoils any choices you make in the story if you remember to take a peak at it every once in a while. And AGAIN, so much of it is locked behind said story that it never feels like you’re independently uncovering the mystery. In Odyssey you could be out in the world minding your own business when suddenly some guy with a massive health bar pulls up on you and you realise in that moment that it’s a cultist. Moments like that were exciting and contributed to the idea that Kassandra was being hunted.
The open world of Valhalla is not all bad. I will say that some of the “mysteries” are really quite good. The animus anomalies, for instance, are by far and away the best activity in the game; it’s not even close. It’s very old school AC, and it’s amusing that in interviews Darby acted like the idea of bringing the modern day into the animus was some new concept but that’s literally what the old games used to do. Also, unlike the wealth collectibles, these are puzzles done right. They are finely crafted and require actual thought. It’s not just do the thing to do the thing to do the thing to do the thing. There are only 10 of them and each one is unique and memorable. Layla’s movement also feels far better than Eivor’s; it’s really a breath of fresh air.
The Cairns challenges are also a lovely addition. They’re relaxing, and I think it speaks to the attention to detail when you can look at your stack of rocks and tell instantly whether the next rock is gonna topple it or not. I also like the fact that if you’re creative enough you don’t actually need to use all of the rocks to reach the required height. My only gripe is the controls/camera are quite awkward so you can end up moving or placing rocks that you didn’t mean to which can be frustrating.
The world events are also delightful, they remind me a lot of Red Dead Redemption 2 (which this game desperately wants to be in places but that’s a post for another time). I enjoyed the side quests in Odyssey but I appreciate this approach as well. What I love most about the world events is that they don’t actually tell you how to complete them. I remember one in Lunden where I came across a group of civilians in hysterics. There was no quest giver so I was wondering what all the commotion was about. It was only when I read the notes on a bench nearby that I realised what the problem was. Using the hints in the notes I went around the city attempting to resolve it. It was great. Many of the world events require you to listen out for hints in dialogue or read notes to figure out what to do or what you WANT to do.
I also love the fact that, in some cases, even after an event is ‘complete’ you have the option to stick around and do more stuff for the NPC.
I know they’re not exceptionally challenging by any stretch of the imagination but I like that the game trusts me enough not to spoon-feed me quest objectives. Sadly, I don’t trust the game. You see Valhalla is a buggy mess and that includes a lot of the world events. One such bugged event made me replay 3 days worth of game otherwise I would have missed out on the platinum. So because world events don’t update your objective you have no idea if they’re working the way they’re supposed to. That one in Lunden I mentioned? Me reading the notes was giving the game the benefit of the doubt but in the back of my mind was the thought that the quest might be broken and that I might need to reload. To approach every world event with that nagging thought in the back of my mind put a damper on any fun I had with them. The other issue with world events and mysteries in general is the way you uncover them which continues the biggest problem with Ubisoft open world games:
They are always aware that you are the player.
Before I elaborate on that though let’s talk about the completely braindead compass because this is one of my biggest issues with how you navigate this world. Changing what objective the compass prioritises with the flick of the camera really makes me think Valhalla was not play tested at all. If I mark something on the map the only distance/miles information I want to see is that which I marked, end of discussion. You can show other icons on the compass but don’t argue with me about what the selected objective should be. Also, why are you telling me where icons are from over 3000 miles away? When I am interested in exploring that I will do so on my own time. The worst part is if you get rid of the compass it removes the selected objective as well. How the hell is this game getting accessibility awards??? Origins and Odyssey had better HUD options than this. Do better.
Rant over. Now back to how Valhalla is aware you are the player. When I’ve said this in the past some people found what I said confusing so hopefully I can explain this a bit better this time: Yes, I am aware this is a video game and video games should be aware you are playing them but the WORLD within it should not, it should behave as if it will carry on with or without your presence. One of the contributing factors to this is a sense of discovery. “Mystery” is not simply what the event is; it’s also WHERE and WHEN it is and that’s what makes a world worth exploring.
I can’t help but think of Ghost of Tsushima and just how superior it is to Valhalla in every single way. Tsushima felt like a fresh take on an old formula whereas Valhalla feels like it’s taking all these new ideas from other GOTY type games but somehow dating them already or just missing the point. Tsushima has frequent “type” activities but the way you uncover them is in stark contrast to Valhalla in that you are REQUIRED to actually explore the map. Sucker Punch (and Bethesda and Rockstar and CDPR) understands that what makes an open world interesting is not the bajillion icons you can see marked on the map but the stuff you CAN’T see. It’s that feeling of seeing smoke touch the sky in the distance and curiosity driving you to go towards it. It’s the idea that you can go through the entire game and never find something that other people will and vice versa. That is the beauty of the open world genre that a linear game cannot capture. By marking everything, by telling me where all the interesting places and people are to see you’re squandering it.
Darby mentioned in interviews that the reason why Montreal ditched the traditional side quest log (which they technically didn’t but more on that in another thread) is because it did not make sense for a Viking to prioritise the petty affairs of peasants in his quest to “pacify”(conquer) England. His statements are completely undermined by the fact that the game literally prioritises these “mysteries” for Eivor by marking them on the map and treating them like one big checklist for him to complete. It removes any so-called “mystery” it could have had because you are letting the player know that anything in between isn’t worth exploring. Perhaps if the map weren’t so damn big you wouldn’t feel the need to tell us where everything is for fear that we’d never discover most of it. If you’re just going to outright reveal where everything is from the start I would rather you at least tell the player what they are so I know whether I want to do it at that time or not. If you’re going to treat your open world like a checklist of chores at least tell me what the chores are.
“But oh nos that won’t do! Because we have ‘Utilities’ and ‘time saver’ packs to sell!!!” And that brings me to the elephant in the room: microtransactions. You see the reason why Ubisoft will never change their open world formula is because you can’t be emotionally pummelled by something you don’t know is there. By revealing that there is at least something in a specific location but not telling you what it is Ubisoft wants to tempt you to pay for that knowledge. “Oh, but you can speak to civilians with questions mar” – shut up, they’re few and far between and most of them reveal stuff you’ve already discovered.
Microtransactions are also the reason why the Vinland arc exists. To be clear, Vinland is designed from the ground up to get you to purchase resource packs. That’s it. There is literally no other reason. “Oh, you’re a thorough player who is willing to scour every inch of the map for the resources you need to upgrade the armour you’ve acquired? Allow us to tempt you with the prospect of speeding up that tedious affair by taking away everything you’ve accomplished at this point and making you grind again to acquire items and tools that you don’t even necessarily want but will need to accomplish your goal in this area.” And despite that, I defiantly still grinded through it, got all the equipment and didn’t purchase a damn thing. I had already paid to be a beta tester for this game on day 1 so I’m not going to pay anymore to NOT beta test it.
And that’s the open world of Valhalla in a nutshell. Grindy, unrewarding, lacking in mystery with a RELENTLESS dedication to wasting the player’s time.
The rogue -lite announcement pretty much sums up why people don’t like Ubisoft.
So, I saw the anniversary announcement about a rogue-lite mode coming to AC Valhalla and it perfectly exemplifies why nobody likes Ubisoft right now. That is, their obsession with chasing industry trends at the expense of whether it works for the game they’ve made. Firstly, much like dialogue choices, it goes against the premise of the animus. Historically, when died you would desync and reset to the last point before - important - BEFORE things went wrong. So losing equipment makes no sense.
Admittedly, I also have a personal gripe with rogue-lites and rogue-likes in general because they are inherently not fun, IMO, essentially padding out playtime by forcing the player to grind for [censored] they already obtained the first time round because of one mistake. They even admonish the player for *gasp* having the audacity to close the app! How dare we stop playing a video game and go about the rest of our day?!
Seriously, I like a challenge but rogue-lites/likes are not challenging, they’re punishing and I don’t play video games to be punished. For example, I’m playing the villains DLC in Far Cry right now and I’ve 100% the Vaas one so far. I think I only died once so it wasn’t too bad but the constant stress and anxiety of having to play to perfection was not good for the mental health. Not to mention the A.I. behaviour had to be tweaked to actually make it a challenge - and by “tweaked” I mean “cheat”, as enemies seemed to have aimbot, infinite knockdowns and rubber-banding that made the combat a chore.
But it's not as out of place in Far Cry which has always had the theme of survival and self development. The idea is that worlds like Rook Islands, Yara, Kyrat and Hope County are hostile to the player and will push back against you the more you make your way through it. Jason Brody, Dani Rojas, Ajay Ghale, and the sheriff are the underdogs.
That’s not Assassin’s Creed.
Assassin’s Creed is about the power fantasy of being a one person army badass. You are the predator and the targets, whether it's templars or the cult or the ancients are your prey. Not the other way round.
Furthermore, flipping the script like this with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will only be compounded by the fact that Valhalla is an unstable disaster barely being held together by each subsequent patch and the poor moderators who have to report all its problems. So now, not only does the player have to worry about their own perfection but you have to worry about the game's imperfections. All it takes is just one game breaking bug or one crash to ruin a perfect run and force a player to the beginning.
Like the mastery challenges, this ill conceived idea is proof that whoever is greenlighting these things doesn’t actually care and is more concerned with the perception of having content rather than the quality of the content, itself. In short, Valhalla isn't polished enough to demand perfection of its players and, even if it was, a rogue-lite mode goes against the entire point of Assassin's Creed.
How Montreal allowed fans to ruin the core mechanics of Valhalla. Ubisoft, please read.
@sofajockey The irony. This game was shaped by 2 years of needless complaints on changes that HAD to be made for the sake of the shift from a world about verticality to horizontal based and the result is a mess.
I like change in games. Change keeps things fresh. What I don't like is change in games made for the sake of fan service at the expense of gameplay. There is a reason Origins and Odyssey did not include social stealth or parkour puzzles and Valhalla is the answer.
Also, could you state how you think the mechanics have improved rather than just saying, "I enjoy it so should you"?
I'm really curious how anyone can say it's improved since to me it's fundamentally broken on every level. I haven't even talked about the bugs.
The mastery challenge is proof that Ubisoft Montreal doesn’t care.
Credit where credit is due to Ubisoft Toronto. Watch Dogs Legion was poorly optimised at launch so you know what the devs did? They delayed all DLC and additional content until the fundamentals were fixed FIRST. For the most part they have fixed the game breaking issues and only the annoying little glitches remain. Ubisoft Quebec, naturally, released a polished game in Immortals Fenyx Rising. The same can’t be said for Ubisoft Montreal who is rigidly sticking to whatever roadmap they had planned regardless of whether or not it’s ready.
Valhalla is mechanically broken. The stealth is abysmal. We’ve been saying this since November. Enemies are spotting you from miles away. Their detection meter doesn’t even fill the bar before you’re instantly caught, let alone reaching the two other stages of detection. Assassinating someone auto triggers detection for some reason which means chain assassination is a no no. Enemies can detect you even if their back is towards you. Why has this not been fixed since November? Are we too busy worrying about cosmetic microtransactions in the live store to actually work on the game??? Priorities!!!
It’s bad enough that you’re not fixing the stealth but then why are you ADDING mastery challenge content when you KNOW the game still has a ton of issues. Either fix the stealth and dumb A.I. OR don’t add the challenges. I wouldn’t even care but there are trophies related to getting gold on them. To be clear, I haven’t even started the challenges but I KNOW they are a nightmare based on player reports and because I’ve just endured the Wrath of the Druids DLC which is a reminder of how bad the core mechanics are. Not only is the stealth virtually impossible but you’ve added “King’s plea” optional objectives around it which is a laughable attempt to copy the optional constraints from the old games. It doesn’t even make sense in context (why would the king ask that you don’t take damage?) I replayed Revelations this year and it’s amazing how mechanically polished that game is in comparison to Valhalla. A game from 2011 lol. Everything just works, from the stealth to the parkour.
Also, I platinumed Valhalla on PS4 and returned on the PS5 to play Wrath of the Druids. The auto popping of trophies is STILL not fixed which meant I had to get the platinum on PS5 again by reloading some old saves which took almost 20 hours to do so. Watch Dogs Legion and Immortals Fenyx Rising does not support auto popping either but the difference is their dev teams aren’t running around pretending that they do! That means we know what to expect and in the case of Immortals Fenyx Rising can PLAN out our double platinums with some strategic manual saves. What is the point of Ubisoft Connect and all the achievements it tracks if it can’t be used to auto pop trophies??? On top of that there are bugs in the DLC like cairn challenges not allowing you to interact with them. Again, non interactable activities is something that was reported back at launch – why has this still not been fixed? Yes, we know there is a reload old save workaround but the point is we shouldn’t HAVE to do that!!!
Lastly, I believe it was the poster pesto who mentioned this but stop asking us to make videos! By now you have enough videos and reports over the course of 8 months to replicate the bugs yourself. It won’t be hard given the amount in the game. If players are telling you they can’t progress in a mission and how, believe them. Stop stalling.
To be clear, this is not a “player request”. This is a customer demand. I’ve paid money for this miserable game (against my better judgement) so bugs and performance issues are NOT acceptable. It’s a joke that Cyberpunk could get temporarily removed from the PS store and Valhalla is allowed to remain there.
Oh dear. The crossover event REALLY exposed how much better Odyssey is than Valhalla in every conceivable way.
Was that your intention, Ubisoft? I heard Quebec worked on both DLCs so maybe it was self sabotage lol. Booting up Odyssey after enduring the disaster that is Valhalla was like a breath of fresh air. Other than the feeling of nostalgia for one of the series’ best characters, the controls were so intuitive; like riding a bike. Basic inputs like crouching are instant, and movement in general is so fast and free. In fact, upon returning to Valhalla after Odyssey I remapped the assassination button to triangle (Y) because it occurred to me how stupid it is to have the open attack and assassination prompt mapped to the same button; I need not explain why.
So nice to play an AC game again where you don’t have to reload the app to fix a bug in every session. So nice to play an AC game where you know the quest won’t break on you if you do it out of order. So nice to be rewarded for exploring the map by finding a quest item that assists with a future quest before you’ve even accepted it ,as opposed to what we have with Valhalla where you spend ages trying to get into an underground hideout to grab a collectible only to find out it’s inaccessible until you progress the story. In fact, the new map in Valhalla which, again, I believe Quebec worked on actually allows you to complete it without throttling it behind story progression so there’s that at least.
Most of all, Odyssey has a functional stealth system. In fact, at one point in the Odyssey crossover DLC you lose all your abilities and have to rely on your wits and gear alone and even Odyssey’s stealth system HANDICAPPED is still more competent than Valhalla’s. According to the patch notes the devs have apparently improved stealth A.I. but the ONLY thing I have noticed is that alerted enemies don’t instantly go into open combat anymore if you’re close enough to assassinate them quickly before they do. Overall, the stealth is STILL BAD. Enemy placements are not suited to stealth level design. Too many guards bunched up together with other guards watching their sixes, meaning you have to rely on abilities like the rats to make quick work of them. Whistling is too risky seeing as it’s hit and miss as to whether you get detected assassinating someone from a bush (sometimes not, sometimes you do). And once again, their vision cones are inconsistent - sometimes they don’t spot you even when you’re right next to them, sometimes it’s instant detection from far away. It’s just awful. Ubisoft Montreal KNOW it’s awful and they’re doing nothing about it.
Still, while Valhalla had my attention, I figured I might as well complete some of the Siege of Paris DLC after rage-uninstalling due to a game breaking bug. No surprise that the aforementioned game-breaking bug in the ‘Majesty in the Dark’ quest is STILL THERE I 100% the map and reached infamy level 4 anyway. Here’s what I experienced since returning:
- The entirety of Northern Paris is just, “barred from the other side” collectibles; it almost feels like a parody of itself. And the annoying rats make it even more of a slog.
- Frequent frame rate drops, hitching and hard freezing.
- Had to reload due to arrows being permanently on fire…
- Yeeting out of the map.
I mean, I could go on and on forever. I cannot stress this enough: people, please do not buy that paid expansion coming in March because no matter how good the trailer is what you’re going to get is what you’ve already been getting: a buggy, broken mess. At least this time we have a year’s worth of data to inform our purchasing decisions - don’t make the same mistake twice!
If it wasn’t for the Kassandra crossover I wouldn’t have installed this trash back on my console, and playing the Odyssey side of it really highlighted how far this series has fallen since.
I want Alexios (male), not Cassandra (female).
OP, what you need to understand is Kassandra , as far as Valhalla is concerned, is an NPC. She is not playable. We don't select the gender of any other NPCs in the game so it makes sense that you can't with Kassandra. And as Kassandra IS the canon eagle bearer, Ubisoft Quebec made the right choice. You, on the other hand, made the wrong one. That's the fact of the matter.
Unable to progress with ''A Brother's Keeper'' | POST HERE
@sofajockey This. A save reload should be the first solution. Patch should be the last resort. That said the first solution should be not to release a game in a trash state.
Oh dear. The crossover event REALLY exposed how much better Odyssey is than Valhalla in every conceivable way.
Respectfully, nothing about Valhalla is "new" or "risky". This is a franchise that has been running for over a decade but you'd never know it considering how amateurish some of the present issues are. This specific engine version has been in use since Unity (2014) and the new RPG mechanics and systems since Origins (2017). Montreal had a solid basis so there's no excuse for the game releasing with this many problems. They already had a functioning stealth system in Origins (note: I say "functioning", not necessarily "good") and Odyssey so why didn't they just build on that? They already had a functioning movement/parkour system in Origins and Odyssey (again,"functioning", not necessarily "good") so why is the movement now so sluggish? They already had ‘hold to sprint’ in Origins and Odyssey as the default speed so why isn’t that an option in Valhalla?
And some of the flaws within Valhalla were BROUGHT BACK after being fixed in Odyssey: Issues such as items and areas being gated behind story progression was a complaint people had about Origins. Ubisoft Quebec FIXED this in Odyssey but Montreal brought it back. Why?
The Phylakitai system was BAD in Origins but this was FIXED with the mercenary system in Odyssey that actually gave you an incentive to hunt mercenaries down with loot and mercenary rank perks. Montreal brought back the old system with the Zealots. Why?
Montreal didn't take any of the lessons from Odyssey because they think they're superior to Quebec and know best, but this DLC crossover just demonstrates that, if anything, the opposite is true. What feedback Montreal DID consider from fans were from a minority and proved damaging to the game overall: https://discussions.ubisoft.com/topic/82915/how-montreal-allowed-fans-to-ruin-the-core-mechanics-of-valhalla-ubisoft-please-read?lang=en-US
The time for expressing concerns in a “kind” manner is over. Montreal doesn’t listen to anything that doesn’t directly or indirectly benefit them financially anymore. I paid for the gold edition and I cannot progress in the Paris DLC because of a game breaking bug - and it's the same game breaking bug that has appeared in other reported issues dating back as far as launch day i.e. an NPC not being able to be interacted with. They don't care because they already have my money. How many times are they going to make the same mistake before people like you stop giving them a pass?
There is something about Valhalla that is FUNDAMENTALLY BROKEN from the ground up which is why every patch just ends up coming with new and/or more bugs. Rather than pooping out DLC for this broken game; they should just focus their efforts on building a new AC game from the ground upwards but they won;t because Valhalla is making them too much money.
There's a quote I recall that beautifully sums up this entire crossover: If you want someone to think you're good at something don't have Ubisoft Quebec doing the same thing next to you.
Latest posts made by AnimusLover
A survey, of sorts, for OG Assassin's Creed fans
Please note, this thread is aimed ideally towards those who have played at least three of the following Assassin's Creed games: AC I, Ezio trilogy, AC III, AC Liberation, AC IV, AC Rogue before the generation 8 AC games launched. So if you haven't played these games or only played them after playing the RPG trilogy (and Unity, Syndicate) this thread is not for you. The aim is to try to gauge the perceptions of those who have "grown up" with Assassin's Creed and therefore are qualified to talk about significant cultural moments from that time as they happened. I realise that probably limits responses, as I get the impression that a lot of fans here only got on board after the switch to the massive open world RPGs, but it would be nice to hear from OG fans as well.
First, a screening question:
Have you played three or more of these games before the 8th generation of consoles ? (AC I, Ezio trilogy, AC III, AC Liberation, AC IV, AC Rogue)
Now for the meat of the post:
Did you enjoy modern day and overall lore?
If so, what did you like about it and do you still like it in its current incarnation?
If not, why? And are you glad it has been diminished?
If you played it, what do you think of the recent RPG trilogy? (If you liked it, why? If not, why?)
If you fell off the series for whatever reason has Mirage peaked your interest again?
Do you have faith that Mirage will be a true return to the series roots or will it just be…a mirage?
If Mirage is good will it renew your faith in the series or is it too late? (If yes, why? If not, why?)
These are just guideline questions. Feel free to comment with anything you like about your experience with AC through the years and your thoughts on Mirage / the series going forward.
Why AC: Valhalla SHOULD have a NG+
@C-Pick New Game+ modes keep me coming back to my favorite games time and time again, giving me near-endless appeal and replay value: AC: Origins, AC: Odyssey, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (though that NG+ is pretty flawed, in my opinion), Ghost of Tsushima (also flawed, but at least it's there), Horizon: Zero Dawn, Horizon: Forbidden West, Far Cry 6 (recently), and more.
I still 100% support Ubisoft's decision to not have a NG+ and still believe that, as requested as it is, players will come to resent it (I'm sure some unhinged folks are already typing out their death threats towards me for that statement but IDGAS).
That said, out of curiosity why did you not like NG+ for Witcher 3 and GOT? Having completed NG+ for both I can understand the criticism of GOT NG+ being flawed in that most of the best rewards (abilities) come at the end of side quests and so doing them with those skills already acquired is far less rewarding (and immersion breaking). The legendary duels, for instance.
But The Witcher 3? New Game Plus there feels like the canonical way of playing the game because Geralt is supposed to be a fully skilled, fully equipped professional and at higher difficulties it's still a worthy challenge.
Pre Origins was way better
I realise not everybody is terminally online but it has been known for about a year now that Mirage is said to cut back on the RPG elements. Here is everything we know so far:
And with the emphasis on stealth it's highly likely that we will be able to one-hit assassinate. Valhalla, which you didn't play (and I don't blame you because it sucks), enabled you to one-hit assassinate as an option in the menus. No doubt that Mirage - a game that is being marketed as the series returning to its roots - is most certainly going to enable this.
Is XP booster helpful for Nightmare runs?
@JohanBellri My opinion is that you shouldn't be spending more money on a game you've already paid for to make the game more enjoyable and/or skip portions of the game you've already paid to play. It is Ubisoft's responsibility to make the game you've already paid for more fun, not your wallet's.
Also, I don't like to cite him as a reference as I think his videos are mostly trash but Luke Stephens did a breakdown of what happens when you use XP boosters, concluding that it actually breaks the game and makes you too powerful too soon. Even with hard level scaling you'd have so many passive and active abilities that the game would likely become trivial even on Nightmare. I like to think that the Ubisoft devs did this deliberately in order to discourage players from buying them as somewhere deep in their souls they know that what the higher-ups are asking them to do is wrong.
AC Mirage Wishlist (Part 6)
I want memory corridor speeches back.
Actual speeches, not weird, pretentious incoherent ones like in Origins.
The memory corridors were supposed to be the villain's last attempt to appeal to the player by providing their point of view. Each one would end with me considering whether or not I was truly playing as the good guy. AC I and AC III did these the best (the Templars were kind of clownish in the Ezio games).
Request - a night time
@pesto on ps4 (where I played Odyssey mostly) the puzzle tombs were dark (I said "caves" before but I meant tombs). There was a trick where you could turn up the brightness to get around this but I never did that as it spoiled the point.
Request - a night time
@pesto Odyssey certainly had dark caves (can't remember if Valhalla did as so much of that game is just one big blur).
Either way, we don't know if Mirage will have pitch black areas like the caves so the torch might still be needed.
Request - a night time
@pesto I get it; I'm not saying that you shouldn't request it. I'm just setting my own expectations because it's something that has been requested in the community for years and given that Ubisoft has proven they know how to do good night time I believe the bright night is conscious decision.
It's like with the ambient music request. I and many others want it to be like the old games or the Witcher 3 where it's constant but Ubisoft only has it in small doses now. Initially, I assumed that it was because they didn't want to pay the composer any more than they needed to. In Origins, they eventually enabled players to tweak how often the music played in the menus, but there is a difference between music that is just on a repetitive loop and one that has been crafted to coincide naturally with the open world exploration in mind, so the menu option is a poor substitute. My point is with this comparison is that, given that there is an option in the menus, it's likely that constant ambient music proved to be annoying for some in playtesting.
On that note, perhaps Ubisoft could add a 'darkest night' mode like they did in Ghost Recon Breakpoint if it is a case of playtested feedback but, again, that's just me guessing.
It could be that from an artistic point of view the devs like night the way it is. Either way, I think the decision is deliberate.
They can't remove the torch because the caves are still very dark without them.
A TALK ABOUT THE OPEN WORLD [DISCUSSION]
@JESTER2506 The problem with the God of War approach is that a lot of the checklists were unspecified simply because you couldn’t do them until you advanced the story and to reveal them beforehand would spoil said story. As a result, all of the game's wonders were rolled out in a very linear fashion - which makes sense for God of War but not for Assassin’s Creed which is open world. In an open world those wonders should be uncovered in any order the player wants.
Furthermore, while I like the hidden checklist in the 2018 GOW game, I found it oppressive and annoying in its sequel. Ragnarok being less linear than its predecessor meant that you couldn’t help but stumble upon these hidden activities and so you ended up running into dead ends constantly. Every turned corner was met with "this is locked!", "we don’t have the tool for that yet!", "come back later at night!", "come back later during the day!" and sometimes with a literal lock symbol too in case it wasn’t clear enough lol. Don’t get me wrong, the lock symbol is a quality-of-life feature Valhalla desperately needed for all those collectibles you couldn’t get until you advanced the main story, but the fact that GOW Ragnarok (and Valhalla) was designed this way at all disincentivized me from exploring.
TBH I don’t even want a visual checklist/tracker even if the activities on them are hidden. Just knowing I’m missing something will make me go out of my way to find it by painstakingly combing the entire map rather than stumbling upon it naturally. It’s the equivalent of when someone tells you there’s a twist at the end of a film. Sure, they may not have told you what the twist actually is but just knowing there is one will make you watch the film differently, and you may even guess what the twist is just by doing that. All in all, I would just prefer to find side missions and unique activities on their own.
And yeah I agree that it is still worth discussing even if Mirage is unlikely to implement this feedback at this late stage. That said, I think Ubisoft is likely to double down on the hand-holding with code name Red due to the rumoured live service route they’re taking for it. In a live service game, HUD and checklists are crucial to its gameplay philosophy which is all about cheap dopamine hits upon completion of daily and weekly to-dos. I know that when I’m doing my dailies in Destiny 2 I don’t like wandering around - I want to get my loot as efficiently and as quickly as possible. But if Ubisoft decide to do more traditional AC games in the future then yeah I’d be all for it. The problem is I think Ubisoft panders to a minority of gamers who prefer to have everything spelled out for them and it makes their games feel dated by comparison. They're catering to players who probably play like 3 games a year at best, all of which are probably Ubisoft games, and so these players' imagination as to what an open world game could be is very limited. Fair play to Ubisoft - it's made their games consistently successful but I can't help but feel that there's some missed potential there for something groundbreaking.
And thanks for the kind words; I'm blushing. You're very welcome - this thread is a nice change of pace from the usual threads about bug reports and new game plus complaints lol
Request - a night time
You've been requesting this for ages and while I largely agree with and support your opinion I have to believe that, given how many fans have fed this back, and that Syndicate and Ghost Recon Breakpoint show that Ubisoft are perfectly capable of doing night time well, that the bright night time is an artistic decision possibly driven by playtesters' feedback.