Absolver - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Probably Not Absolver

Absolver, much like its cast of masked pugilists, is a fighter. Sloclap’s stylish online brawler-RPG was plagued with server and balance issues through its first few months of life, but the studio believed in it, and haven’t given up. For a while, the studio have been working on a major new update centred around a PvE mode featuring new environments and enemies, buffed up with fresh AI. Today, they teased that the reward for besting these new foes would be a fifth fighting style, inspired by one the greatest martial artists of the past century.

(more…)

Absolver - slcp_vanguard
Hi everyone,

We promised you more details on how production is going when we announced the 1.16 patch. It took a little more time than expected, but here is some info on the upcoming content for Absolver. We hope you like it, and please let us know if you have any questions!

All the best,
Sloclap team


Production Update

PvE
First of all, most of the team here is busy working on the new coop PvE content. PvE has been one of the most popular request since launch, and we certainly intend to deliver some cool content in which players will be able to fight new enemies with improved AI, explore new environments, and even discover some of the Guides’ best-hidden secrets. This new PvE game mode will be playable in solo and co-op, and has been designed to provide great replay value to players. We will be sharing all the details of this PvE expansion in July, so stay tuned!



Schools
As we stated when rolling the 1.16 update, the School System is scheduled for an in-depth rework. The designs are mostly finalized and we have started work to adapt the network architecture to the new design before we can move on to the most exciting part of the Schools update: the School Challenges! These will be launched at the same time as the PvE expansion; we’ll give more information on the new School features in a future post.

Combat
On the purely gameplay side, we have made great progress on the next Combat Style. Most of the animations of the style are now done, along with plenty of new attacks. We are currently testing the special abilities of the style and the balance of the attacks; careful iteration is needed to add another combat style without unbalancing all the game!

We have also implemented new Powers which are also being tested currently to make sure they bring interesting tactical opportunities to the game without being overpowered (note that the existing powers are being rebalanced too). You can expect the new style, attacks, and powers to be released later this year at the same time as the PvE expansion.

On a more technical side, we have done a lot of debugging and made improvements to the core combat; some issues on lag have been fixed, as well as input tracking and other improvements (see below).

Technical: online architecture, engine upgrade…
These past few months, we have also spent a lot of time improving our online architecture, from gameplay replication to matchmaking, in order to improve stability and performance and fix various remaining issues. The upcoming 1.18 patch will deliver some of these tentative changes on our online architecture and we’ll be monitoring the playerbase feedback in the coming weeks to make sure the fixes work as expected and to identify other remaining issues. You can expect the 1.18 patch in a couple of days.

Besides this, the programming team is constantly on the look-out for crashes to fix and possible performance improvements. For instance, we have invested time in updating Unreal Engine to the 4.18 version. Since we use a custom version of the engine, updating versions takes some time, as we need to make sure all our existing systems are compatible, especially the ones that required some core changes to the code. Switching to UE 4.18 will bring a number of improvements and optimizations, needed both for the PvE game mode and for the upcoming Xbox One version (see below).

All this is “behind the scenes” work, so although it’s not directly visible, we hope these efforts will make the overall Absolver experience as fluid and polished as possible.

Xbox One version
Finally, to all Xbox One players expecting the game, we are happy to report that the Xbox One version of the game is making good progress and entered the first rounds of QA testing last week, so we should be able to announce a release date soon™. :)
Absolver - slcp_vanguard
Hi everyone,

Patch 1.17 is up for PC and PS4! This is a small debug patch that will improve overall stability, and address some recent bugs.

We’re working on more bug fixes that will be in upcoming updates, please see below:
  • Issues on start up on specific PC rigs: we are working to fix those crashes
  • The 1.18 patch will also fix an issue where some equipments from the Ripa Warrior and Forest Dancer sets are not obtainable.


If you encounter any issue in-game, please reach out to us by email at support_pc@sloclap.com or support_ps4@sloclap.com

All the best,
Sloclap team

Debug
  • You can now add gold weapon to your School rewards
  • Fixed a bug where Weapons looted in Rift Disks were deleted in inventory
  • Fixed a bug in the Remapping feature where players couldn’t rebind their special ability with a binding other than mouse.
  • Fixed a bug in the Remapping feature where the “Invalid key” prompt was displayed when it shouldn’t be
  • Fixed a bug where the player could sheath a sword without spending tension shard(s)
  • Fixed a recurrent crash on PS4
  • Fixed a desync issue generating lag
  • Fixed an issue in the Birdhouse map where the players could escape from the 1v1 area
  • Fixed an issue where the character’s origin (skin tone) could be changed without validation from the player
  • Fixed forced stance in top right after locking an enemy with an attack
  • Fixed an issue on Shaman Tunic Overtop where the cloth animation would not be played in specific conditions
Absolver - slcp_vanguard
Hi everyone,

The 1.16 Update is now available for Steam! Please find below the Patch Notes with all the details on the new content and a link to the complete list of balance and debug changes.



If you encounter any issue with the game, please mail us with all the details at support_pc@sloclap.com , support_ps4@sloclap.com or support_online@sloclap.com

New content & Improvements

Prestige System Update

The Prestige System Update will expand your possibilities after you hit level 60. You’ll be able to show your Absolver way with new tools:

  • Change your Character’s appearance (sex, skin, hair type and hair color) by spending Crystals
  • New haircuts are available
  • Change your 1v1 introduction cinematic with new ones to buy in the Essence Shop
  • Create equipment presets, with copy/paste feature, to tweak your Fabsolver
  • Preview Equipment in the Essence Shop before buying
  • Dye your masks (not available with all masks)
  • Players can open up to 100 Rift Coins/Disks in a single button press
  • Reset attributes now cost 1 crystal
  • Other quality of life improvements are featured in this update, such as the ability to copy/paste decks in your deck selection menu, making it easier to refine and iterate on your favorite decks.

Schools Update

The 1.16 update features the first steps in the updates we want to make to the School system (there will be more school-related features in the next updates.
  • Players can now leave a School directly, without having to join a new one
  • Mentors can now update their School content by spending 1 Crystal
  • Hayen now has a “Find School by ID” feature
  • Players can learn attacks from their school decks by using them against enemies
  • School’s leaderboard is accessible from the School menu
New Gear and 3v3 Maps
  • Two new 3v3 maps are now available, as well as plenty of new gear, both in the shop and in Rift Coins/Disks.
Misc
  • New remapping options have been added. We also fixed the bugs linked to the older remapping version.
  • You can now skip Rift Disks/Coins opening animation
  • 3v3 Resource FX have been updated: Polish and optimization of the effects
  • The movements of the player now have sounds feedbacking more accurately their gear’s material

Find the full balance changes and debug info here.

Absolver - slcp_vanguard
Hi everyone,

Thanks a lot for participating in the Gameplay Beta weekend on Steam! We’ve been caught up reading all the quality feedback we got on all the Absolver boards, and we apologize for not getting back to the community earlier!

We’re running a new test session this weekend, again focused on Gameplay iterations to prepare for the 1.16 patch. Please bear in mind that the 1.16 patch will have new content, we’re just not revealing it yet :).

You’ll find below all the information needed to enter the Beta: dates, hours, how to get in and saves recommendations! The Full Patch Note is at the bottom of this post.

Steam Beta Information

How to get in and general information

We are going to run an open beta for all Absolver Steam players, it will be accessible via the “Beta” tab, in the “Properties” of Absolver in Steam. No code is required to access the Beta. You can already enter the branch on Steam, but please note that the new build will only be available in a few hours.

The objective of this beta is to test some changes to the combat gameplay, gather feedback and data, and finally validate or not these changes for the next official patch.

Opening Hours

The beta servers will be opened at the following times:

Saturday March 3rd, Sunday March 4th:
  • Europe: 5pm > 9pm UTC
  • US: 6pm > 10pm EST
  • Singapore: 6pm > 10pm UTC+8
  • Sydney: 6pm > 10pm UTC+11

About your saves

You can copy and paste your main save folder content in the newly created “Beta” folder, once you have launched the Beta game at least once (so the branch folder and its corresponding save folders are created).

Please note that we do not recommend using your Beta save in the actual game, during Beta or once it is over: compatibility issues can occur.

In any case, we recommend backing up your save folder if you want to use it in the gameplay Beta.

You’ll find below a link to all details regarding this weekend’s testing session! All comparisons are made with the Patch 1.14 values.

Full announcement and detailed Patch Notes.
Absolver - slcp_vanguard
Hi everyone,

The Weekend Combat Beta starts today !

For a full list of the gameplay changes implemented in the beta, see here: https://absolvergame.com/news/absolver-gameplay-beta-full-patch-note

For info on how/when to access the beta, see here:
https://absolvergame.com/news/absolver-enter-beta-testing-this-weekend

Please share the news about this beta with your Absolver friends, the more players we have joining the beta, the better the feedback will be!

We're looking forward to trying out these changes with all of you this weekend :)

All the best,
Sloclap Team
Absolver - slcp_vanguard
Hi everyone,

While most changes in our latest 1.13 update were appreciated, some gameplay tweaks didn’t go down well with the community, who felt they negatively impacted the overall depth and feel of the game. We are very committed to making Absolver as balanced and as interesting as possible, which is why we made these changes in the first place - they seemed to make sense to us (in theory and in internal playtests), but some issues came to light when the Absolver community actually tested the update. A lot of comments were made online, and although we were unhappy that some changes were badly reviewed, we were also very impressed by the quality and precision of the feedback received! After a few days and some internal discussions, we decided to correct some of these changes as soon as possible, which is why the 1.14 update came live so fast.

The changes we made on Kahlt were clearly not a good solution in term of balancing, but were a good way to mark the success of the ability and have a feeling of impact when it happens. For the moment we prefer to revert Kahlt to its previous state, and as it was already the style with the best winratio, we decided to increase the stamina cost of the “Absorb” special ability a little.

Besides this, having gold link timings not be linked only to the attack’s damages seems like the good direction to us, and it was already the case for some attacks (like handstand kick for instance). That being said, we may have been heavy-handed on this change, so the 1.14 update rebalances this, in order to have a game feel similar to the 1.12 version for a majority of attacks.

We've also worked on the standard release durations to have a maximum of 9 frames between goldlink and standard release. This prevents having attack inputs lost when a goldlink timing is missed.

Finally, the knockback of guardbreaking attacks on guarding opponents has been lowered too, making it slightly smaller than the knockback when these attacks actually hit.

The full list of changes is below - as you’ll see, we also finally managed to identify and fix the bug which caused problems with successful avoids (the opponent wasn’t slowed down, and could still goldlink into their next attack). This should come as good news to Windfall mains ! (Note that only a well-timed avoid will trigger the slowdown, and stop the opponent from goldlinking).

We will keep on monitoring the data we receive from matches, as well as online feedback, in order to make Absolver better and better, so please keep posting and commenting! While we usually don’t have time to directly engage in the discussions, they are very useful for us to keep improving our game.

All the best,
Sloclap Team

Find the full patch notes here:

https://steamcommunity.com/app/473690/discussions/0/1700541698681549391/
Absolver - slcp_vanguard
Hi everyone!

We’ve pushed the 1.13 update to PC (Steam & GOG), PS4 version will be up shortly. There are a lot of changes in terms of gameplay in this version of Absolver, below you will find detailed explanations on these updates. The patch notes can be found at the bottom of the post.

New Game Details
First of all we wanted to shed some light on how some systems work in Absolver.
In the attributes panel, you can now see how your Combat Style bonuses impact your attribute points. It will make it easier for you to manage your attribute points and see where the soft caps start.



We also added a detailed version of each attack’s parameters and you can access in the attacks list panel. It features values such as range, impact on guard, stamina cost, advantage frames on hit (in gold link), etc.
We hope you’ll like it.




Gameplay Updates
Now in terms of gameplay changes, we focused on allowing more viable options to the builds you create.

Firstly, we reduced the Combat Style attribute bonuses. They were too high and did not allow you to make really meaningful choices. Now, having 2 attributes at max value will have a strong impact on the other ones.
We also increased the number of attacks having damage scaling to have strength, dexterity, and mobility become more viable attributes.

Secondly, we balanced most of the attacks. Keep in mind that because attacks can be used in different contexts (before or after any attack, with different combat styles, etc.), we need to take into account the whole roster of attacks to balance them properly. So when we work on balancing, it can impact all the attacks.

Other important point: we have fixed a nasty bug that sped up 17 attacks (including Back Tripped Kick, Double Fist Stretch and Grab Punch) and slowed down 17 others (like Spinning Wide Hook and Collar Chop) under specific conditions linked to absorb.

The main change is that we now define the gold link release value specifically for all attacks (previously it was set depending on the attack damage), and as such, we nerfed the gold link release value of fast avoid attacks and most of the fast sword attacks.
Fast avoid attacks, like Jumped Light Kick or Back Tripped Kick, were overused compared to normal fast attacks. By impacting their release value we hope to fix this. For info, their damage and damage scaling ability were already lower than normal attacks.
We applied the same kind of gold link adjustment to fast sword attacks to slowdown the pacing of the sword a bit and allow more predictability.
As a consequence, damage computation does not take the normal release in account anymore, but the gold link one. This change affects all the attacks.
For instance, Stagger Style attacks such as Hadrunken, Handstand Kick, and Donkey Slap have lost 10-15% of their damage, and attacks such as Cross Punch, Pulmonary Palm, Bending Palm have gained 10% of damage.

Thirdly, we made a move towards creating more combat variety by making the weapons more reliable.
We increased the durability & disarm gauge of all weapons as well as the disarm regen overtime when you are holding the weapon. This means that weapons will break less, and it will be harder to disarm opponents. On top of that, folding back your weapon now gives you back an amount of shards depending on the shard cost of the weapon and its current durability ratio.
We think that these changes will create more strategy around sheathing and getting back a lost weapon.

Lastly, we worked on balancing Combat Styles.

The datas we have show that Kahlt users have the biggest win ratio (59%), followed by Forsaken (51%), Windfall (47%), and then Stagger (42%).

We decided to try out some changes until we extract and analyze more detailed datas (skill rating, combat deck, etc.).

Stagger:
We added a bonus effect lasting 5s when a Stagger character avoids an attack with any avoiding attack (including its own special attacks). This bonus effect gives “stamina regen x1.2”, “actions stamina cost x0.8”, and is stackable (similarly to the bonus effect given by the Kahlt absorb).
We also increased the “stun on hit” of the stagger special attacks, and a little bit of their range.

Windfall:
We increased the stamina gain on avoid successfull (35 -> 40), and the slowdown when avoided.

Kahlt:
We added freeze frames (6 frames) on the attacker when “absorbed”. After the freeze frames, the attacker can still perform a gold link attack. It’s a slight buff against fast light attacks but will have no real impact on medium/strong attacks.
In return, these freeze frames force the Kahlt player to perform his ability twice against double-hit attacks.
We also doubled the stamina cost of the absorb ability (5 -> 10)

That’s it for balancing.

Besides that, we increased the impact of every attacks on guard to lessen “turtle-strategy” behaviours.

Thank you for your support, and please let us know what you think of these changes!

Find the full patch notes here:

https://steamcommunity.com/app/473690/discussions/0/1693785669851807139/
Absolver - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Edwin Evans-Thirlwell)

We asked a handful of our contributors to put together a list of their three favourite games from 2017. Their picks are running across the week while the rest of RPS slumbers.>

I’ve been thinking about time a lot recently – how we create and manipulate histories and the present in video games and in general – so you’ll forgive me if my end-of-year choices are a bit Back to the Futurey. (more…)

Absolver

Absolver's 1v1 brawling is a layer cake, each sheet tasty on its own without overpowering the others. At the bottom are individual moves—drunken twirls, powerful taekwondo kicks, all-or-nothing haymakers—that are chained together with one button. Sweet and simple. Above the moves, multiple dodging and parrying styles, and then a savory customization engine, where attacks can be chained across four stances. I've spent hours just trying out new combos that auto-cycle my stances, sometimes reserving one stance that I manually switch to when I think my opponent has my core moveset figured out. Instead of high kick, low punch, spin, they suddenly get sweeping kick, twirly dodge attack, jumpy kick. Delicious.

Then there are the dances around ledges, where opponents can be shoved or sometimes just psychologically pressured into slipping to their demise—also great, except when you get force pushed by one of Absolver's special moves.

Finally, with all the decorative edible bobbles at the top, Absolver is about fashion. I haven't concerned myself with style in any other game this year as much as I have in Absolver. Though I find the world drab, the characters are sharp dressers, and using masks to express personality without the need for eyebrow sliders is clever and effective. What's more, Absolver has tactical fashion. Clothes have stats, and affect how much damage you take and how much damage you can deliver depending on your fighting style. They tell you about the player you're up against, and what sort of moves they'll bring. Light, airy dress implies a speedy, dodging style. Or does it?

It's vital to time moves to chain them most effectively, but tricky button presses aren't Absolver's primary focus. Absolver is about misdirection and deceit through and through, from how you design your moveset, to which stances you prefer, to how you dress. Fighting games like Street Fighter deal in trickery, too, but more subtly and with more conditions—namely, perfect input execution—and I've rarely felt capable enough in them to compete against good players in a fun way.

In Absolver, on the other hand, I may have gotten my ass kicked regularly (and after some time away, I'm sure my play is now dreadful), but I was always keen to return with a redesigned fighting style and new plan—to adapt as a player but also as a character. It is perhaps in my head. A better player will beat me most of the time, but feeling like I have the opportunity to surprise them or fool them without perfecting inputs as a prerequisite kept me trying again and again. I only stopped playing Absolver because I had so many other games to get to this year. When a quiet moment presents itself, I will be back in the ring, trying out my drunken spins again.

...

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