SAN FRANCISCO – January 25, 2018 — Today, Ubisoft announced that For Honor® Season Five, Age of Wolves, will launch simultaneously on PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and PC on February 15. Coinciding with For Honor’s first anniversary, Age of Wolves will enhance the core player experience by focusing on Hero balancing, matchmaking and connectivity. Launching as a free update, Age of Wolves will bring major hero updates, fight system changes, new customization options and more. Dedicated servers and a new training mode will also be released during the season. ‘
Implementation of Dedicated Servers
Following a successful Open Test in December that allowed the production team to gather players’ feedback and data, the dedicated server infrastructure will be implemented in For Honor during Season Five. This implementation will remove the resyncing, session migrations and NAT requirements and deliver stable connectivity on all platforms. The exact timing of the implementation will be communicated at a later date.
Major Heroes Updates
Five Heroes – Kensei, Conqueror, Highlander, Berserker and Nobushi – will receive major gameplay updates in order to re-balance the available roster. The Kensei and Conqueror will both receive new movesets, animations and more to their kit, while the Highlander, the Berserker and the Nobushi will also receive meaningful balancing updates. Following Season Five, more heroes will receive similar balancing updates as the development team continues to prioritize game balancing.
New Training Features
After the launch of Season Five, For Honor will introduce three new training modes designed to change the way players hone their skills. Newcomers will be able to learn the basics of the game as well as more advanced techniques in the Apprentice Trials and the Warriors Trials modes. Finally, the Arena mode will allow advanced players to practice against specific heroes and moves that will prepare them for any potential fighting combinations.
“Following our launch in February 2017, our team was focused on building on the initial experience by adding new heroes, modes and continuous gameplay updates,” said Damien Kieken, Game Director “For the beginning of 2018, we want to focus on the core experience and address player feedback by prioritizing online stability and hero balancing.”
Season Five will also bring several quality of life updates including a new item that will boost XP in exchange for salvage, the shift of 4v4 Ranked Mode from Dominion to Tribute, a new reputation level cap, new gear progression and more. Age of Wolves will be the first season of a full year’s worth of content coming to For Honor in 2018. To learn more about the development’s team vision for Season Five and beyond, please visit: https://news.ubisoft.com/
Developed by Ubisoft Montreal in collaboration with other Ubisoft studios,* For Honor offers an engaging campaign and thrilling multiplayer modes. Players embody warriors of the three Great Factions – the bold Knights, the brutal Vikings and the deadly Samurai – fighting to the death on intense and believable melee battlefields. The Art of Battle, the game’s innovative combat system that puts players in total control of their warriors, allows them to utilize the unique skills and combat style of each hero to vanquish all enemies who stand in their way.
For the latest about For Honor and other Ubisoft games, please visit news.ubisoft.com.
*Associate Ubisoft studios include Quebec, Toronto and Blue Byte.
Ubisoft is a leading creator, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and services, with a rich portfolio of world-renowned brands, including Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, Tom Clancy’s video game series, Rayman, Far Cry and Watch Dogs. The teams throughout Ubisoft’s worldwide network of studios and business offices are committed to delivering original and memorable gaming experiences across all popular platforms, including consoles, mobile phones, tablets and PCs. For the 2016–17 fiscal year Ubisoft generated sales of €1,460 million. To learn more, please visit http://www.ubisoft.com.
© 2017 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. The For Honor logo, Ubisoft, and the Ubisoft logo are registered or unregistered trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the US and/or other countries.
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Q&A Ubiblog Season Five Q&A.
Looking back at the first year of For Honor, our team released three seasons worth of new content and over 30 games updates. We learned a lot from our community as we continued to work on the game and can’t thank them enough for their passion and involvement into the evolution of For Honor. With Ages of Wolves launching on February 15, we had Damien Kieken, For Honor game director, take the time to answer some common questions.
Q. For Honor is almost a year-old, and you just announced Season Five, which will come in February. Can you talk about what will come with it?
The start of 2018 is going to be all about prioritizing the core player experience by focusing on connectivity, game balance and matchmaking. All this begins with Age of Wolves on February 15, where we will refine five of the existing Heroes at launch and push our dedicated servers following the launch of the Season.
We will also be making a ton of quality of life changes including adjustments to gear progression, converting salvage to XP boosts, Faction War updates, and more. Following the launch of Age of Wolves, we will also be introducing new training modes that will assist with player onboarding.
Q. The implementation of dedicated servers has been long awaited since its announcement last summer. How will that impact the player experience?
The open test we held in December was successful, and it gives us confidence that the infrastructure change will positively impact the player experience. With our new Dedicated Servers architecture, our players will see four key changes to their experience:
1. Matches will be more stable leading to better overall match completion in PvP modes
2. Matches will be smoother as the game will no longer pause (or even crash) due to leaving players, simulation resyncs or host migration.
3. NAT types will no longer restrict or hinder player’s ability to group and matchmake.
4. Matchmaking will create sessions more easily leading to better overall matchmaking success.
Of course, changing our online infrastructure while the game is running is a major undertaking and we will closely monitor the situation once the Dedicated Servers are implemented in the live environment. Some of our players may experience new issues that we are not aware of yet. Players’ feedback will be very helpful for us to make the required adjustments and optimize the infrastructure.
Q. When will dedicated servers be implemented?
The new online infrastructure will be introduced during Season Five. We are currently finalizing the rollout plan and will be able to communicate more details shortly.
Q. Another big focus of Season Five is the rework of some of the heroes…
Since launch, we have released balancing changes for Heroes through regular title and live updates. With Season Five, we wanted to start undertaking larger reworks for several Heroes to which we wanted to give additional tools and choices.
Kensei, Berserker, and Conqueror were prioritized because they were some of the lowest-performing Heroes in duel and group fights, and our test builds showed confidence that their improvements would help them improve their efficiency in both situations. In particular, we felt that they needed to be able to perform on offense more successfully, and so we wanted to add improved tools to their core kits to help them defeat defensive-minded players.
The Highlander and the Nobushi’s cases are a little different and required more subtle changes. For instance, the Highlander already had the tools in his move set, but needed an overall buff in order to be relevant competitively. Nobushi was already very successful in group fights, and it was more a matter of making her a more balanced character overall by slightly nerfing the power of her Zone Attack while slightly buffing her in other areas.
Q. As a trade-off, Season Five will not introduce any new Hero. How did the decision to prioritize reworking on previous heroes come about?
For us, it was assessing the current state of the game and what needed to be improved in order for us to feel confident with our game mechanics and address community feedback. We then prioritized the key areas we needed to focus on and balancing the current Hero roster was one of them.
After the introduction of six new heroes last year, the current roster features 18 unique warriors each with their own fighting style and flair. Focusing on balancing will allow us to strengthen the base we have built while giving our players more viable character options – and this without releasing new heroes.
Season Five is only the beginning of the process, and we want to bring similar balancing updates to other Heroes in the future.
Q. What impact do you anticipate these changes will have on overall balancing?
The overall intention is to reduce the gap between the top-performing Heroes and the bottom-performing Heroes, generally by buffing and improving the bottom-performing Heroes, while also looking at Heroes such as Nobushi to improve the balance of their kits and give them more playstyles options.
The major difference between the top-performing characters (such as Shaman and Gladiator) and the bottom-performing characters (such as Kensei and Highlander), is that the top-performing characters are currently able to launch attacks with a reasonable degree of confidence that the attack will land, while the bottom-performing characters have little confidence that any of their attacks will work against players who are very good at defending.
This is why we want to buff upwards, as players will then have the tools to play offensively or defensively based on the situation and their play-style. This will also continue to distance the gameplay from the overly-dominant defensive play-style that was a hallmark of play in the initial seasons.
What can players expect after Season Five?
With Season Five, we are focusing on the long-term vision in order to put the game in the best place going forward. This why we are investing into massive changes including a full infrastructure change to dedicated servers. We have an extensive team working on the game, and we want to continue supporting the game throughout 2018 and beyond.