For Honor Can't Maintain a Playerbase with Its Prevalent Connection Problems
For Honor launched back in February and a friend of mine perfectly described it as a “casual filter." Why? Because most people go into For Honor thinking it'll be another pickup and play online game, without much mastery required. But within minutes of starting their first match, their heads are rolling off their character's shoulders as you taunt their corpse.
However, it seems that the fun is coming to an abrupt end thanks in part to severe connection issues that have plagued the game from the start, as well as a dwindling player base.
Only two weeks after release, For Honor's player base dropped by more than 50% on Steam, which is alarming considering at launch it broke Steam's top ten most played games with nearly 46,000 players on day one. Since then, that player count has dropped to below 15,000 on average -- and if this pace keeps up, For Honor will be a ghost town before all the DLC can even be released.
The Ire of a Community Over Silence
To make matters even worse, developer Ubisoft Montreal -- until recently -- were completely silent with their community over these issues. In response, the community only grew angrier and notably much louder about the issue.
Stickied right on the front page of the For Honor subreddit is a list of community solutions to glaring issues -- and you can already guess what is at the number one spot: disconnection issues. Shortly after this thread went up and was stickied, the For Honor Twitter page made an announcement they'll be streaming and potentially addressing issues. However, the stream was then canceled at the last minute.
Warriors, we're having to bump today's Warrior’s Den stream back, and hope to do one later this week instead. We will keep you updated!— For Honor (@ForHonorGame) March 28, 2017
As you can only imagine, the community lost their collective shit and the anger expressed by the community has reached a boiling point. So much so they've even begun an “Official For Honor Blackout Community Event” – set for April 3, in which the subreddit plan on not playing the game to further reduce the player count.
Days after this announcement from the community, the For Honor Twitter page went full blast,m announcing they'll be giving weekly updates straight from the For Honor team. Whether or not this will help with long-term community management, we'll have to wait and see what they have to say on these matters.
Starting today, "This Week in For Honor" will give you weekly updates straight from the For Honor team: https://t.co/wxfxUgy7XC— For Honor (@ForHonorGame) March 31, 2017
The Ship has Sailed; or in This Case, has Already Sunk
Personally, I don't see the game recovering from this anytime soon, and try as they might, For Honor, in my opinion, will be dead by the end of this year. Why? Simply because the way Ubisoft structured the online component was baffling, dumb, flawed, and doomed from the start. Don't get me wrong: I'd love to be proven wrong here, but I think For Honor has no chance in hell at this point.
As explained in the Community Solutions Thread on the For Honor subreddit, this wasn't a random issue that just appeared suddenly over night. Instead, people have been experiencing disconnection issues since the closed alpha, closed beta, and open beta -- well, basically the whole time the game has been a game. And despite people reporting on these issues in each of these tests, seemingly nothing was done from the developer to address the issue.
The issue itself seems to lie within the game's sloppy net-code, and considering the game has already launched and has dwindling numbers as is, don't be surprised if Ubisoft quietly just end up not supporting it further. Pulling it aside and taking it offline for days -- or even weeks -- to correct the net-code or even set up dedicated servers would take up time and money they don't have.
Remember: This is the same company that let the license expire for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game and then ended up taking it down from the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live without any warning. Quietly stopping support for something is what Ubisoft has done time and time again.
Also, keep in mind this is only the tip of the iceberg for issues surrounding For Honor -- the game still suffers from NAT region locking, security concerns regarding game clients seeing the IP addresses of other players, lag switch abuse, balancing issues, micro-transactions, and how steel is distributed.
All in all, For Honor has a lot of things to fix. And so far, the community has been fairly patient with Ubisoft, considering the amount of issues affecting the game. But as their patience begins to wear off, support of For Honor, from both the community and Ubisoft, looks to be dwindling ... Fast.
But what do you guys think? Do you think For Honor could still be salvageable? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned to GameSkinny as the situation progresses and for all your For Honor news and updates.