What do backstabs really add to the game?

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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Emergence on Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:26 pm

    If I could briefly add to this conversation, I would like to say that pushing the game mechanics beyond what was thought available can lead to remarkable innovation. Street Fighter is the penultimate example of that, where things that were stumbled upon and used to an advantage became refined integrations to the final product.


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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Tolvo on Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:35 pm

    Personally I've always been a fan of the idea of counter damage. Similar to hitting someone while they are staggered, etc, hitting them from behind doing a little bit more damage. Rather than an animation, a simple damage modifier that isn't too extreme.

    The main issue I see with this mechanic is dead angles, with their existence it would be possible to swing, then look away. And get backstab damage since you are technically facing the other way.
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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Sloth9230 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:14 pm

    Tolvo wrote:Personally I've always been a fan of the idea of counter damage. Similar to hitting someone while they are staggered, etc, hitting them from behind doing a little bit more damage. Rather than an animation, a simple damage modifier that isn't too extreme.

    The main issue I see with this mechanic is dead angles, with their existence it would be possible to swing, then look away. And get backstab damage since you are technically facing the other way.

    Wouldn't dead angle themselves also be something that needs fixing though? They don't exactly look like something that was intentionally placed in the game. Just another game mechanic that we've managed to exploit. If I hit my opponents shield then that hit should have been blocked, regardless of what direction I'm facing.


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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Tolvo on Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:28 pm

    They brought it over from Demon's into Dark, and have never made an attempt at patching it.

    Without grabs, the lack of dead angles would make turtles way too powerful.
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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Sloth9230 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:50 pm

    Hey if they have the patience to just stand there 10 mins, then they deserve the win lol.


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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Vorcan on Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:46 pm

    Emergence wrote:If I could briefly add to this conversation, I would like to say that pushing the game mechanics beyond what was thought available can lead to remarkable innovation. Street Fighter is the penultimate example of that, where things that were stumbled upon and used to an advantage became refined integrations to the final product.

    But surely not every single situation would end up like that.
    Not everything is compatible with that idea.
    Could you give us an example of the kind of thing within street fighter that you meant? I personally haven't played the street fighter games much.


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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Marino. on Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:54 pm

    Tolvo wrote:They brought it over from Demon's into Dark, and have never made an attempt at patching it.

    Without grabs, the lack of dead angles would make turtles way too powerful.

    They also brought the Spell Swap Glitch over to Dark Souls but that one has been Patched .
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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by reim0027 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:54 pm

    Vorcan -


    Catbro-ing is being in the Forest Covenant. And, as I said before, my second point was not directed at anyone in particular. I completely understand analyzing mechanics; trying to understand the game more. What I think is the problem is we are over-analyzing and assigning "morality" to other players, based on how we want them to play.


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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Vorcan on Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:55 am

    reim0027 wrote:Vorcan -


    Catbro-ing is being in the Forest Covenant. And, as I said before, my second point was not directed at anyone in particular. I completely understand analyzing mechanics; trying to understand the game more. What I think is the problem is we are over-analyzing and assigning "morality" to other players, based on how we want them to play.

    Ah I see, so that's where the cat comes from lol.
    Well, don't you think that in any life situation, and I mean ANY. You need some sort of "way" to live with yourself?
    Problems arise when individuals don't think about those things and selfishly tread on.
    For me, it's not that I "wan't people to play a certain way"
    I would want to see individual dark souls players take their own responsibility as human beings.

    Also, is there any particular reason, any specific "good" reason for why you cared to ignore the things I had said a second time around?

    In any case, we are not over-analyzing. And it's not like we want to "assign morality"
    But what more can you do when individuals refuse to do the work themselves?
    Tell me truthfully, when you look around when you walk on the streets of your town, how many people around you do you think are actively contemplating the world? How many are selfishly living their own lives? How many do you think value that new car they've been eyeing more than other things that SHOULD be considered more important.
    Truth be told, we're pretty silly, stupid and a whole lot of other things.
    If we choose to ignore, then I will speak up. Please don't try to "make me" ignore things with you.

    Our world and incidentally the world of video games has a problem. One we create, why are you of opinion that we should ignore that? That we shouldn't try to understand it. That we should just suck it up and let every selfishly driven individual choose his or her own path.
    It is their right, and it certainly isn't in my right to tell people how to live, how to play.
    However it's a bit of a dilemma because we are not simply individuals, we're also part of the bigger picture, aka; Humanity. Or are you of opinion that bad things have a place in the world? That all the hypocritical efforts we've put up so far are exactly that, a hypocritical illusion.
    Because if bad things have a place in the world, why bother with things like prison, we should just let mankind do what it wants. That is, IF the world is like that.

    Which brings me back to my original point.
    Aside from the game's mechanics and the loopholes, bugs and whatnot we can find within them. We also have our own individual that controls all our actions.
    Aside from merely making suggestions on "how to live with it" or "how to change the game in order for it to work"
    There are other possibilities, but I guess those possibilities may be a bit too much trouble for a selfishly driven individual. The individual also gains very little him/herself so meh.. In any case I'll withdraw myself from this topic for now.
    Please drop me a pm if you or anyone else wishes to continue.


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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by retro on Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:10 am

    WhatDoesThePendantDo? wrote:You'd still need some sort of a mechanic in place (were you to get rid of the BS) to punish enemies (in both PvE and PvP) who give their back to you.

    It is exploitable and it does needs a major overhaul but it fills an important role. If it didn't exist then it would only encourage even more reckless plystyles and, not to mention, mage builds would be even more powerful.
    I strongly agree with this. If it was nerfed to do roughly 90% of the current damage it does, I'd be happy.

    I also kind of like the idea mentioned earlier that it could be disabled if an enemy player is locked onto you, meaning it's meant to be more of a 'sneak' attack. However, I think there should be an exception to that. If a player is locked onto you, but casts something that takes a while to cast (firestorm, heal, etc), they are leaving your back open to you if you can circle around... so I don't see why a backstab shouldn't be possible.

    It could, perhaps, instead be that it's only disabled if they're locked onto you and still moving at a speed faster than a slow-walk. Slow-moving attacks that cause the enemy to stand still for a moment should allow a backstab imo.
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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by reim0027 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:25 am

    Vorcan - that's exactly what I mean by overanalyzing. It is just a game man. It has nothing to do with real life.


    As far as what backstabs add to the game, IMO they add a lot. The mechanics need to be tweaked for sure. I've tried to play without backstabs, and I hated it. Take a Great Club. 2H roll R1. Hyperarmor, powerful, spammable, unparryable (practically), and insane phantom reach. Roll BS are the best way to punish this. And, other strength weapons, same thing. Take away backstabs and their main weakness is gone. Now, you are left with either a fast dex weapon (roll in-attak-roll out) or trading hits. Now, strength weapons have a counter to the roll BS. They unlock and attack behind them. What do we have? More strategy.


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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Sevans on Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:41 pm

    Vorcan wrote:
    Emergence wrote:If I could briefly add to this conversation, I would like to say that pushing the game mechanics beyond what was thought available can lead to remarkable innovation. Street Fighter is the penultimate example of that, where things that were stumbled upon and used to an advantage became refined integrations to the final product.

    But surely not every single situation would end up like that.
    Not everything is compatible with that idea.
    Could you give us an example of the kind of thing within street fighter that you meant? I personally haven't played the street fighter games much.


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    I know I'm not Emergence, but the best and brightest example of what he described would be cancelling normal moves into special moves. Such as low forward (medium kick) into a Hadouken. Normal moves were never meant to be canceled, but when this was discovered it forged a concept that is now included in all fighting games; Combos.


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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Jansports on Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:49 pm

    Vorcan wrote:
    Emergence wrote:If I could briefly add to this conversation, I would like to say that pushing the game mechanics beyond what was thought available can lead to remarkable innovation. Street Fighter is the penultimate example of that, where things that were stumbled upon and used to an advantage became refined integrations to the final product.

    But surely not every single situation would end up like that.
    Not everything is compatible with that idea.
    Could you give us an example of the kind of thing within street fighter that you meant? I personally haven't played the street fighter games much.


    ~Vorcan~

    Since I'm a huge fighting game buff, let me drop some history.

    Street fighter two introduced Combos, but on accident. This style of comboing is known as "Linking" Where you have to wait for your punch to fully recover before imputing the next move in the combo, the recovery frames_start up frames are short enough that the hit stun from the first hits causes the second to hit as well with no chance to escape or block.

    Darkstalkers introduced "chain" or "Gatling" combos, where you press a sequence of attacks and they actually flow into one another, in these combos you don't have to wait for one attack to fully finish, you imput the next attack in the combo as it hits and the attacks cancel into one another. These can be found in a lot of what are considered the "faster" 2d fighers, like MvC Guilty Gear Blaze Blue.

    This is a basic example of how something that was not intended ('link' combos in SF2) because a staple to an entire genre.

    In SSB L-Canceling and wavedashing were unintended results of the games physics engine (the 64 version) They were intentionally kept on as features in SSBM for the gamecube (then saddly destroyed in SSBB for the Wii as the director decided he did not want the game to be seen as "too competitive")

    After final fantasy 6 and 7 (Arguably the most popular two games in the franchise) People looked for new ways to replay these great games. Now low level challenge runs had been around for a while (since FF1 and earlier even) However they were absurdly popular during the stretch between 7 and 8. Both 8 and 9 had systems that intentionally facilitated challenge runs (junction and ability stones) And By 10-12 Leveling at all was basically optional
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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Emergence on Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:12 pm

    Vorcan wrote:
    Emergence wrote:If I could briefly add to this conversation, I would like to say that pushing the game mechanics beyond what was thought available can lead to remarkable innovation. Street Fighter is the penultimate example of that, where things that were stumbled upon and used to an advantage became refined integrations to the final product.

    But surely not every single situation would end up like that.
    Not everything is compatible with that idea.
    Could you give us an example of the kind of thing within street fighter that you meant? I personally haven't played the street fighter games much.


    ~Vorcan~

    The two posts above mine from Jansports and Sevans are exactly the situation I mentioned. The compelling urge to achieve and succeed when faced with a challenge in a video game can sometimes lead to alchemical Gold. Not exploring the limitations of the parameters in any system you participate in is not taking "personal responsibility". It's absolving yourself of innovation.


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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Sevans on Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:26 pm

    Emergence wrote:
    The two posts above mine from Jansports and Sevans are exactly the situation I mentioned. The compelling urge to achieve and succeed when faced with a challenge in a video game can sometimes lead to alchemical Gold. Not exploring the limitations of the parameters in any system you participate in is not taking "personal responsibility". It's absolving yourself of innovation.

    I couldn't agree more with this. Well said.

    And since we're on the topic of fighting games, I'd like to say that I liken backstabs and dead angles to command throws and normal throws, respectively. You get snatched up with a command throw because you allowed yourself to be; They require acute positioning which your opponent managed to achieve. They also punish things that are otherwise unpunishable (think roll BS.)

    Dead angles open up people who guard a lot, like normal throws in fighters. Of course, throws can be broken, but I'd argue that rolling away from a dead angle is just as easy as breaking a throw, if not easier.

    I think the use of both techniques has expanded the PvP metagame in a way similar to how throws have added more depth to fighters. Without them, the games would lose a lot of flair and the competitive scene would stagnate.

    The real problem isn't that these techniques exist (intended or not) it's that the game has latency issues that make them both a pain in the neck to deal with. I would much rather see an improvement to the netcode than a change to the existing mechanics -- They work, and they're fun.


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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Sloth9230 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:49 pm

    Does dead-angling make it easier to deal with turtles? Yes it does, but it does so because of an exploit in the games mechanics. By using dead angles you've just made your opponents build completely irrelevant. Not because you're build was better or because you were more skilled necessarily, but because you knew of a flaw in the system. They raised their endurance/strength or w/e so that they could use a superior shield, so they should be allowed to use said shield.

    Don't get me wrong, I use dead-angling myself. But it's still an exploitation of the games system, just like spell-swapping. Could it be intentional? Perhaps, but if it is then it needs some serious re-tuning because it sure doesn't look intentional the way it is right now.

    The only bright side about this is that they tend to be easier to backstab, if you don't get stunned that is.


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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Emergence on Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:45 pm

    I would stop short of likening dead angles to spell swaps though. Dead angles may be not working as intended but they are not glitches either where you are taking the impossible and making it possible. Pve mobs make use of dead angling themselves, I will notice this on hollows using jump attacks. This may not be an intended function but that is the definition of emergent gameplay I guess.


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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Tolvo on Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:50 pm

    You can also block dead angles if you really know what you are doing.

    Dead angling is an exploitation of a system that needs some way to break through guards better.

    I can lose a fight to a turtle not because he was a better fighter than men, or a better build. He was just willing to wait twenty minutes, while I got bored and crystaled out.

    If grapples were in the game to break guards, sure remove dead angles then. But until they have a replacement for the effect of a dead angle, I would hate for them to go.

    It's my view that someone should not win a fight just because they can hold L1 for as long as they want, and that they find trolling people fun.
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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Sloth9230 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:51 pm

    It was merely an exaggeration on my part in order to help me get my point across. A MLGS with SB or CMW is far worse than Dead-Angling :shock:


    Yes Tolvo but in order for them to hold L1 the entire fight, they had to have both the strength and endurance to properly use their shield. A turtle build is just as viable as any other build.

    If it was just chip damage then okay, but an attack shouldn't really be able to completely bypass a shield.

    The fact that it was brought over from Demon's Souls makes me think that the problem is with how the game engine registers attacks in the first place. Which would mean fixing dead angles(if they are broken) would require a large overhaul of the system.

    Last I checked Dead angles didn't work on npc enemies, they can do them to you, but you can't do them back. So then the problem lies in how the game recognizes other players. I'm assuming that it's the same thing that causes deflection to not work in PVP(unless of course it was never intended to work)


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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by bla on Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:38 pm

    About dead angles against AI:

    I started a no shield run and was fighting the two spear hollows on the way to the undead merchant. One attacked, I sidestepped and attacked normally. Only did chip damage even though his shield was way off.

    Just pitching in since this was recent...

    Sevans actually made some sense with the fighting games comparison...
    But I'm still not sold on the backstab thing.

    Flogging a dead horse:
    Attacking someones back is usually about the reaction of the receiver (being thrown off balance, more damage etc.), not a specific action of the attacker.

    Further flogging: weapons in dark souls are rather unique or at least come in many categories.
    When I wield a heavy weapon I feel like do or die, connect for the win or miss and be punished. Insta-animations remove the uniqueness and risk factor of heavy weapons.

    However I can relate to the people that like this oh-so-much debated mechanic.
    And unexpected innovation brought about by scrutinizing a game's core is indeed a good thing. All hail Street fighter happy

    I just don't like this particular mechanic.

    But all in all, valid points all around for each "camp"

    11 pages and counting...
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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Sentiel on Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:02 pm

    I would like to add, that justifying existence and usage of dead angles as a way to fight turtles seems a bit too much to me.

    I'm not sure if dead angles are intentional, or no. Sometimes, it looks stupid when I block an enemy's Great Scythe attack completely, when I clearly see the weapons blade going through my body and when I clearly block a hit from Zweihander, yet it still damages me.

    How to explain WoG dead angling is totally beyond me though. It makes no sense to me, no matter how I look at it.

    However, you can use MANY other methonds to fight turtles, other than dead angles.

    You can two hand your weapon, it will devastate their stamina.
    Use kicks, it also works nicely and unlike the previous method, can't be parried.
    Magic is a good way to do some damage to their HP and stamina at the same time and you got some spells clearly designed to break turtles apart.
    Lastly, there's always the trusty Shotel.

    I know all of these methonds are punishable, but so is everything else in the game. My point is, that there are "normal" ways to deal with turtles other than using a feature with questionable origin.

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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Sloth9230 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:22 pm

    If anything, more weapons that can bybass shields would be greatly appreciated. The great scythe, pick axe, warpick and the like look like they could reasonably attack around a shield. There's also that new weapon from the concept art.


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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Sentiel on Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:24 pm

    Sloth9230 wrote:If anything, more weapons that can bybass shields would be greatly appreciated. The great scythe, pick axe, warpick and the like look like they could reasonably attack around a shield. There's also that new weapon from the concept art.
    Considering how big that weapon looks (I imagine it big as a Murakumo) it would be serious overkill to all shield users. lol!

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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Sloth9230 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:32 pm

    I love overkill

    As a side note: I just got backstabbed out of a plunging attack... before I hit the ground :|
    It looked... how can I say it? ridiculous.


    Last edited by Sloth9230 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:36 pm; edited 3 times in total


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    Re: What do backstabs really add to the game?

    Post by Sentiel on Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:35 pm

    Sloth9230 wrote:I love overkill

    As a side note: I just got backstabbed out of a plunging attack... before I hit the ground :|
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