Fighting games fans have a history of banning overpowered characters from tournaments. Akuma in Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo was a no-go. Meta Knight has long been frowned upon at Super Smash Bros. Brawl gatherings. Now, add the Peacekeeper from For Honor to that list.
The For Honor community has had a problem with the Peacekeeper ever since the game came out earlier this year, but in recent weeks her true power has become crystal clear. Most players agree she's the most powerful character in the game - not just by a bit, but by a lot.
Why? Because of her light attack spam, which is incredibly difficult to defend against. For Honor is a relatively lumbering affair - in fact that's one of the reasons I love it. It's a fighting game about mind games, not twitch reflexes. So the Peacekeeper's flurry of attacks seem out of place. The video, below, does a good job of explaining the problem.
It's got to the stage where the For Honor community is sick and tired of seeing Peacekeepers pop up online so frequently. For a game that'll live and die by its character balance, it's not a good look.
The Peacekeeper's popularity has extended to the fledgling For Honor tournament scene, which has been criticised for the over-abundance of the Peacekeeper. MLG online tournaments have already seen the Peacekeeper rise to the top of the tier tree, and so they're a bit boring to watch.
Things came to a head when two days ago an MLG forum user called Clint44mag declared: "No Peacekeeper or no tournament." Clint44mag said the Peacekeeper "reduces the competitive spirit" of For Honor, and explained why:
Pretty strong stuff! Well, the tournament organisers at MLG took notice, and banned the Peacekeeper as an experiment.
MLG online tournament supervisor -TheShadow- responded to say it will try running a tournament with Peacekeeper banned, and then send a poll. If the community declares itself in favour of banning the hero then MLG will do so.
The For Honor community has welcomed the news and declared it a mini-victory of sorts. The community hopes the decision will put pressure on Ubisoft to change the way the Peacekeeper works, although in an interview with Eurogamer earlier this month, game director Roman Campos Oriola indicated the development team would take its time with balance changes to make sure it gets them right.
Still, there is a feeling Ubisoft hasn't been the most communicative of developers when it comes to For Honor, and the perception is the game continues to shed players because of disconnection problems, poor matchmaking and overpriced micro-transactions.
It seems inevitable that Ubisoft will at some point nerf the Peacekeeper, but how long that will take is anyone's guess. Until then, don't expect to see her in MLG online tournaments. I doubt she's going anywhere for normal online play, though. A win's a win, after all.
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