The third season of For Honor, Ubisoft's huge-dudes-with-sharp-objects simulator, now has two things: An appropriately gritted-teeth title, "Grudge and Glory (opens in new tab)," and a launch date of August 15. Season three will bring two new fighters into the action, the Gladiator and the Highlander, along with a pair of new maps, 1v1 duel tournaments, and the usual variety of tweaks and updates.
Gladiators are Knight Assassins equipped with a shield and trident, who have honed their skills in the arena. They wear little armor, but can punch their opponents "to create separation [and] set up attacks and stuns." They also have a larger stamina meter than other classes and a reduced cooldown time, making them "extremely agile and dangerous opponents."
On the Viking side of the fight come Highlanders, "hybrid" characters who can assume either an offensive or a defensive stance in battle. Their massive claymore is also the longest and heaviest sword in the game, providing them with "a deadly combination of strength and range."
The new maps, Sentinel and Viking Village, are set in a ruined castle and a Viking village (okay, that one was obvious), each boasting unique environmental hazards that players will have to learn to deal with while simultaneously avoiding death at the hands of an angry Samurai. A new "Legendary" gear rarity is being added, early-game progression has been shortened to help get new players to the good stuff more quickly, and the maximum Hero reputation is being increased to 40, "giving players more customization options for their Heroes."
The introduction of 1v1 duel tournaments is also a big step toward attracting and retaining players (albeit one that probably should have been taken before the game was released) and Ubi said that 4v4 ranked modes will be added later this year.
The obvious question is whether new content, and in particular the addition of proper competitive modes, will be enough to lift For Honor out of its doldrums. The rollout of season two in mid-May catalyzed a small spike in the player count, but by the end of the month the number had tailed back down to pre-release levels, and it's continued to slide from there. We noted in early June that the concurrent user count on Steam had dropped from 45,000 to just over 3000, over a span of just four months after its release; the number of players over the past week has been barely half that.