Skinny weirdos in masks have been beating me up all month in martial arts biff-em-up Absolver [official site]. They’re called Absolvers because they grant absolution to my face with an endless barrage of kicks and slaps. Perhaps, with this latest update, I can finally treat an opponent to a sin-cleansing uppercut of my own. Patch 1.06 is mainly a bug-fixing effort, but it also disempowers the fastest attacks and tweaks absorbing guards. There’s also a handout of six masks based on other games by publisher Devolver, like a Hotline Miami chicken mask.
Here’s the full patch notes but they are a little light on explanation. An earlier post from developers Sloclap lays out their reasoning for the changes much more clearly. The bug stomping is still top of the list, with some fixes to crashes, disconnections and game save loss. But the more interesting fighty changes are these:
Decrease range and impact on guard of fastest attacks
Increase impact on guard of Breaking attacks
Increase weight/mobility impact on stamina
Keep shards after death
Shockwave costs 2 shards and has decreased range
This flurry of tweaks is squarely aimed at the jaw of the most ruthless “spammers” - players who have discovered that endless fast attacks will keep your opponent unable to strike back. It’s an aggressive and debilitating technique, and while it’s not as morally reprehensible as many bruised players are making out (this is a fighting game), it can be annoying when coupled with the lag issues that continue to plague the 1v1 combat trials of the game. Losing to a blur of fists and feets without being able to hit back even once is not pleasant.
“We've seen a lot of comments about the spam...” says Sloclap. “The overall idea was always to make the guard stronger than the fast attacks, we want someone who use only fast attacks to exhaust himself against the guard of his opponent.”
That’s why they’ve decreased the range and impact of fast attacks. Spammers should, in theory, tucker themselves out more easily. Another common complaint has been people over-using the shockwave special power – this pushes people back a few metres when activated. Since a lot of the maps include lethal drops, players have been using this almost exclusively to push their foes off ledges, rather than fighting like a true warrior. So they’ve increased the cost of this move. Good.
As for the masks, you can see those here.
They're hidden behind the mapstone at the game’s central hub. They are scary. It’s a gesture towards those complaining about loot drop rates in 1v1 and the larger open world. Masks are rare and hard to find. Future updates are going to address that, say the fightfolk, but for now you can wear a creepy chicken face. Coo'.