For Honor gets more generous with in-game currency as players threaten boycott (Updated)

Update: The For Honor community has decided to call off the boycott following a Ubisoft livestream that took place this morning. During the stream, producer Stéphane Cardin and game directors Damien Kieken and Roman Campos-Oriola addressed many of the major complaints raised by the community. With regards to server instability, Cardin said fixing it was their "number one priority" but offered little in concrete details as to when it would get better. 

However, the team revealed extensive balance changes to many of For Honor's most contentious heroes. The Peacekeeper, widely regarded as For Honor's most over-powered class, will be nerfed in an upcoming patch that will also include fixes to some of For Honor's more aggravating bugs. Campos-Oriola didn't specify when the patch would be released, but said that it was currently in testing and, assuming no major roadblocks, things could move "pretty fast."

The developers also revealed a plan to finally begin punishing those who quit matches early. Again, no specifics were shared other than the new system is in testing and will be rolled out sooner rather than later.

This all comes on the back of Ubisoft also revealing a new weekly developer update which should hopefully give players the insight they want into For Honor's future.

Ubisoft's rapid response to the community's frustrations is admirable, and the community seems to agree. Following the stream, the author of the boycott proposal took to Reddit to call off the blackout. "For the most part our requests and suggestions that have been posted in my thread and similar threads have been met," they write, going on to address why they feel the boycott might be the wrong move for the time being. Many of the top threads and comments on the subreddit echo that sentiment.

However, this is just the first step in repairing the rift between Ubisoft and an obviously frustrated community. While the blackout likely won't happen on Tuesday as planned, many players are still suggesting it might one day be necessary if Ubisoft's more open communication is a short-lived endeavor.

Original story:

Following months of turmoil within the For Honor community, players are rallying to boycott the game next week on April 3. As we've reported, For Honor hasn't had an easy go since launch. Players have lambasted its peer-to-peer server architecture, exploitable combat systems, and heavy-handed microtransactions. Now they've finally had enough. Citing the lack of a satisfactory response from Ubisoft regarding these issues, members of the subreddit are planning to stop playing for an entire day in hopes of getting their message across. And Ubisoft is already taking action.

The proposal for the blackout, written by Reddit user 'jbaayoun,' is currently one of the top posts of the subreddit with over a thousand comments. There's a growing thread on the official forums as well. "The goal is to receive a response from Ubisoft, something that tells us to maintain our faith in the game," jbaayoun writes. "Below is a list of reasonable requests and suggestions made by the community that I have noticed. I hope together we can make a difference in the game we love."

Ubisoft has not been communicating properly. Replies have been very vague and have left us with more questions than answers.

Chief among the demands is better communication. "Ubisoft has not been communicating properly," jbaayoun says. "Replies have been very vague and have left us with more questions than answers. Ubisoft, we are not asking you to send us a message everyday asking how are day was. However, we would like to know that we are being heard and that you acknowledge our issues."

The issues jbaayoun mentions have been a major complaint from the community since For Honor launched over a month ago. For example, players are still experiencing a host of matchmaking issues including frequent disconnects and server downtime. Other topics include the incredibly slow rate at which players earn steel, For Honor's in-game currency. As I wrote two weeks ago, some players ran the math and discovered it would take over two years to unlock all the cosmetic items in For Honor without paying money. Understandably, many players were not OK with that much emphasis on microtransactions in a full-priced game. 

To try and force a response from Ubisoft, jbaayoun proposes that players not play For Honor for at least 24 hours on April 3 and longer if they feel convicted to. "In general, Ubisoft, we want you to communicate with us," jbaayoun finishes. "We know you can do a good job with this game and we have our faith in you. Just give us a reason to stay faithful."

That post went live yesterday afternoon and quickly rocketed to the top of the subreddit. In the comments, many players are expressing their support of the idea. "it's such a fucking shame what is happening to this game," writes Reddit user Yogzula. "People love it so much, despite its flaws, that they actually are trying to host community protests and put this much effort into seeing the game's issues get fixed."

Fortunately, jbaayoun's proposed boycott seems to have already worked—Ubisoft is taking action. This morning, For Honor received an update that significantly increases the amount of steel that players can earn from playing: 

  • All matches steel income are increased by 25 percent
  • Daily Orders steel income are increased by 33 percent
  • Side Orders steel income are increased by 50 percent
  • Community Orders steel rewards are increased from 500-1000 to 2000 Steel

 According to Ubisoft, that can raise the amount of steel you pull in from two hours of playing by about 45 percent. So that means to unlock everything players will need to grind two hours a day for around 1.3 years instead of two and a half. It's an improvement, but that's still a big time investment if you want to have it all.

I reached out to Ubisoft to get its take on the recent developments and a spokesperson said that on Friday at 10 am PDT, the developers will be hosting their weekly livestream to answer player questions directly. This echoes a comment left by a Ubisoft rep in jbaayoun's Reddit thread. "I can confirm that the team went through all the points you raised and we will be addressing them," they wrote.

Despite Ubisoft's promise to address the issues, jbaayoun says that most of the commenters still want to go through with the blackout. Whether or not it actually happens will depend largely on the nature of tomorrow's livestream, jbaayoun says. The ball is in Ubisoft's court at this point.

But even if tomorrow's livestream finally gives players some answers, it's clear that there's a serious rift forming between Ubisoft and its community. "The fact that this is even something that is being talked about in the community, should raise some big ol' red flags," writes 'grn2' on Reddit. I agree. 

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.