State of the Game; Pre-Downfall analyzation

Absolver is an amazing game, but like all games it's the job of the community to make known what could be improved, and sloclap/devolver have shown that they are very open to new suggestions, and in my past experiences, have even shown their gratitude directly for players getting involved. So here is my latest update on the state of the game. Enjoy, and tell me what you think too in the comments below. If it seems this article is too long to read, I recap everything in the section marked "Conclusion". I do ask though, that if you are going to discuss something I have mentioned, to read through the section of interest beforehand to get a more complete idea of my thoughts on it.

€Online interactions
Absolver is a very reactive game, so when there is lag, it can drastically affect the players ability to respond to threats to the best of their ability. While a fair 80 percent of matchmaking in pvp has good connectivity, the rest of matches suffer from a fair deal of spammy guesswork as a result of being unable to play reactively. This probably has a lot to do with the strength of home network connections, but the fact that the lagging player gains an advantage rather than the one with a decent connection can definitely become frustrating as you watch your character perform a move that would have countered the one your opponent appears to be using, but you are still the one taking damage.

In the single player areas lag is a constant and recurring issue, and I find it much simpler to play either offline or in a closed session with friends, rather than risk having all the non-player enemies in game be glitchy disasters. If the downfall expansion has similar issues, this could definitely be very frustrating.

Another issue is the fact that players who are idle and have not entered the meditation state or sat at an altar always generate lag. When I come across such players, I regrettably feel compelled to knock them out so that they don't continue negatively impacting the playspace. I suggest that an idle player should be placed into the meditation state after a few seconds to remove this unfortunate part of playing the game online, with the added benefit of preventing afk players from being farmed for experience.

When playing online some mini bosses spawn in twice or more still. This really ought to be patched as it is a long-standing issue with the game.

€PVP Gameplay
Guard breaking attacks are since the previous update, a little overpowered. Beyond the fact that slower attacks generally do more damage, and have a significant stun lock, the affect on block for these attacks is overwhelming. Unlike other specialized attacks, failing to counter more than one of these attacks correctly is extremely punishing. While I agree that before, the inability to sufficiently deplete an opponents stamina bar lead to exploitative gameplay, the current model allows for an opponent to lock you in a state of depleted stamina. I think that the idea was on point, if a tad over implemented.

Camera issues are still alive and well, with cheesier opponents still using walls as a means of getting several attacks in while your opponent is blind to your actions. My suggestion for this is to use a camera system similar to for honor's, where the camera is given more freedom to pass through solid objects, and a view of your character is always provided via transparency.

I love the newer model for forsaken gameplay, it's much more reactive and less frustratingly punishing. Parry mechanics are very difficult to implement in a balanced way, and in previous articles I expressed that games tend to overuse the concept to the point of obscenity. I applaud sloclap for finding a good balance that allows players to engage their opponent more actively, like with the stagger and windfall classes, rather than completely halt the flow of gameplay. Thank you for listening to us!

Khalt is a point of controversy for many players, as it seems to provide very high reward for very low risk or cost. It requires no specific directional input and basically gives the player the qualities of a charging attack in return for good timing. While I personally find that easing up on gold chains, and varying the tempo of your attacks is very good at confusing even good khalt users, it isn't enough to turn the tide back in your favor. I really hope the developers consider a rework for this class. My suggestion would probably be something along the line of a cool down for the ability, perhaps an increase of hp and or stamina put at risk for consecutive uses? (It's not a perfect idea, but I can see this class being really hard to rework while keeping the spirit of the ability intact, but sloclap has managed to fix similarly difficult problems before.)

Back dodging is a very common way unskilled players try to get a leg up on players. Some think the distance of the dodge should be reduced, but I find these players are very easy to punish by similarly disengaging and dodging backwards yourself. This takes the distance advantage away from them entirely and simply forces them to either reactively re-engage you, or (more often) start attacking from too far away, putting them in the position they intended to put you into.

€Cosmetics and Currency
It is very very difficult to get ahold of particular pieces of equipment (I myself have been coveting the rose mask since it was introduced). I suggest that the in game marketplace include rift coins and disks for particular equipment slots, so as to allow players to increase the odds of getting specific equipment they desire from the randomized loot they receive

The grind is well paced, but the uncertainty surrounding rarity of equipment makes it a touch difficult to feel secure in ever redesigning equipment when you might be saving for specific pieces, weapons, emotes, or intros. I would suggest that this minor problem could be alleviated by having more expensive coins/disks that allow you to get equipment of a higher rarity.

€Emote names
Yeah, this one is a bit niche, but a lot of the emote names can cause a player to be unwilling to use an emote they like for the fear of being misunderstood. One example (although there are quite a few) is the "I'm sorry" emote. When it first hit the store I bought it right away, but not to use to say sorry to anyone. I thought it was a really cute shy, "hello", and I use it that way all the time to start a combat trial. Unfortunately, because of the name, the most frequent response to this is the "I don't know" emote, a shrug that is synonymous in game with "why?". Ironically if I were to think they were communicating "I don't know" their response wouldn't make any sense either. I suggest more ambiguous names for emotes, so as to allow them to be a touch more interpretable.

So that is my state of the game analysis. To recap; The network for PVP is good but gives too many to players who are causing lag to occur. Single player has too much lag in general, which is concerning for the new story driven expansion. There is no idle function in game. Guard breaking attacks are a touch overwhelming. Camera issues are still a problem. Mini bosses multi-spawn still in online mode. Forsaken is finally balanced. Khalt is still a bit ridiculous. Back dodging is not as bad as we thought. The means of attaining cosmetics needs some reworking. And emote names should be more ambiguous.

Thanks so much for reading, let me and the devs know what you think needs attention in the comments below. I look forward to fighting you all under the eternal sunset. See you in downfall!


  • Hey Fallingblackfeathers,

    Thank you so much for your detailed feedback with kind words, analysis, and suggestions! We can't promise that your suggestions will be implemented in the game, but we really appreciate your feedback. It would be nice to hear community opinion as well. Do not hesitate to share any Absolver-related thoughts!
  • Just wanted to comment that there are some really good points in the OP.
    I very much agree with the point about heavy stamina drain on GB attacks.
    ITs close to being OK, but just a tad over the top.
    I find when i'm playing top tier opponets that know how to abuse feintingand poking with GBs that i often have little to no opportunity to recover.
    I believe it rewards skilled play, but just needs to be toned down a tad bit.

    PS- I too have been looking for that Roses mask since it came out, lol. GL.
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