This weekend marked the Finals tournament in the For Honor Hero Series. The tournament was to promote the upcoming For Honor: Season 3, celebrating how far the game has come and where it's heading in the future. Unfortunately, that current state is plagued with a few technical issues and exploits, preventing the competitive title from truly feeling competitive.
The winning player on the PC Finals was Jakub "SB.Alernakin" Palen, who stomped through the finals without losing. As you can see the video above, Palen used the Nobushi, one of the more controversial launch heroes. Worse, he exploited the unlock tech, where a player "unlocks" their targeting lock, attacks, and then locks back on. The technique makes certain attacks faster, allows others to bypass an opponent's block, and minimizes attack recoil.
The win was a bitter one for For Honor developers, who essentially saw their competitive community undone due to the exploit. That wasn't the only one though. Early play saw use of significantly overpowered moves like the Raider's Stampede Charge, leading to matches like this one. In another clip, a level height bug sees a player knocked down after a grapple attempt, leading to the loss of a match.
Upon winning the tournament, Palen simply said, "I didn't think it would be this easy."
"Before the tournament, I hadn't played for two weeks, so that was my preparation," Palen added with a laugh.
"Good job, buddy. Soon you might have to change your playstyle, but honestly, that's a #$%&ing good job," said For Honor creative director Roman Campos Oriola when he awarded Palen with the trophy.
The problem isn't just that these exploits and bugs exist on the tournament level. It's that they're known issues. The unlock tech has been around since the game's launch and many other bugs have been reported and unaddressed according to the community.
"If only the developers had even the slightest idea of how their own game played at a competitive level. The game is so ridiculously defense-favored that the only way for players to actually be aggressive is to do extremely cheesy shit like Raider charging grab spam or to just straight up abuse exploits like flicker or unlock tech," wrote Reddit user Myrsephone.
One month ago, the tournament winner himself posted on Reddit about how powerful the Nobushi hero was. In his post, Palen noted that Nobushi was all but essential in 2v2 and 4v4 modes, and very strong in 1v1.
"I'm sure there are details that I've missed in this post, but I believe those are the main reasons Nobushi is one of the strongest characters in the game. I tried to make this thread as concise as possible while still having a lot of information," wrote Palen at the time. "As for how to fix this situation -- I have no amazing fixes. I believe unlocked attacks aren't easy to fix, otherwise they'd already be gone, but of course that has to go as well. Nobushi lacks a bit in some areas in 1v1, like hidden stance and kick, but it's important that we don't just buff her without nerfing at least the zone attack."
Some even felt that the Twitch and YouTube personalities were more fun to watch rather than the reigning pro players. Essentially, if For Honor really wants to be an esport, it needs to clean up on bugs and balance issues sooner rather than later.