Although I am grateful for all the new additions and fixes this game has recieved in the last few updates, I feel that combat has become less appealing, which is sad because it was this game’s melee focus which drove me to pick it over Ark. Below I have listed some suggestions that I think will make combat be more engaging and feel less like a chore.
-Grant NPCs the ability to dodge:
While its great that NPCs are now able to make use of offhand functions, they are still unable to dodge. If they are given this ability, they would be able to break out of combos and recover from knockdowns, making them more formidable in combat. However, in order to prevent them from spamming dodges, they would need to be limited by either stamina (goodbye Sword of Crom cheese) or a cooldown timer.
-Extend hitstun animations for slower weapons:
This will prevent enemies on the recieving end from sneaking attacks though your combos. The only action available during hitstun should be dodging in order to break free from the combo (this should apply to knockdown as well).
-Use hyper armor to simulate momentum:
Hyper armor in start up frames, combined with the aforementioned hitstun deficiency, allows some attacks (e.g. 1h sword lunging stab, hyena pouce) to poke through combos, which kinda sucks. This is why hyper armor moves should become uninterruptible when the attack is in full swing, thus allowing them to be punishable during start up and recovery. However, with hyper armor being representative of momentum, any combo string where the weapon remains in motion should be uninterruptible until said weapon stops moving.
-Grant stun resistance based on weight class:
Instead of arbitrarily making creatures immune to stun (ostriches, really?!?), creatures should be categorized as the follows: Agile (e.g. high movement and attack speed), Brutes (e.g. slightly larger than human, moderate/slow attacks), Behemoths (e.g. large non-boss creatures). Once categorized, brutes should be granted mid range percentage based resistances while behemoth should have much higher resistances. Following this same logic, larger weapons also have a higher chance per hit to stagger these enemies. Humanoid and agile enemies (elites included) should never have stun resistance, since they attack faster and are rarely ever alone, but brutes and behemoths, should have their resistance amplified if they spawn as elites. Bosses are still immune to stagger, unless…
-Add a limb damage and rage mechanics to bosses:
To make both solo and group boss fights more interesting, boss limbs can be broken in order to momentarily incapacitate these creatures allowing players to deal some serious damage. Once this period is over though, the boss will enter a rage state, regenerating all damaged limbs, getting a speed boost, and becoming immune to all status effects for the duration.
-Extend vulnerabilty when attack are blocked:
Blocking an attack should create an opening long enough for the defender to counter attack before the enemy recovers. However, attacks with shield smash not only continue uninterrupted, they also delay any retaliation from the defender.
-Replace the kick with a parry on 2h weapons:
Even if it does stamina damage against other players, the kick is utterly useless in PVE, and seeing as your only defensive options are a dodge that costs 25% of your max stamina or limiting you weapons selection with a shield, a parry would be perfect for weapons that can’t equip a shield shield. Parrying, unlike blocking, would be reaction based and deflects all (non-boss) humanoid weapon attacks. After a succesful parry, the defender should be able to attack, parry, or dodge with no delay. The person being parried will be left in a vulnerable state similar to when an attack is blocked with a shield, where they can only dodge or parry in return. Parries do not interrupt non-humanoid creature attacks, but instead absorb some of the damage and reduce knockback.
Please consider these suggestions, I would like to finally be able to enjoy this game to the fullest. Thanks for your time.