MLG to experiment with banning Peacekeeper in For Honor tournaments

Ubisoft's medieval beatdown game For Honor has a Peacekeeper problem. In an amusing twist of irony, it turns out that huge, lumbering men with heavy armor and massive weapons have real trouble dealing with a dagger-wielding woman who moves fast and trades plate armor for a mean disposition. As Eurogamer explains, her attacks are light but come very quickly, and that makes her very difficult to defend against; on top of that, she can inflict bleeding damage, which will slowly sap an enemy's health after she hits.   

The result, as player Clint44mag explained on the MLG forums, is a "lack of diversity" in competition, as players naturally gravitate toward the Peacekeeper as the best available class. "For Honor is a fighting game built on mind games and conditioning your opponent. However, when PK [Peacekeeper] is used these tactics are not needed as simply spamming light attacks can usually guarantee hits, even against experienced players," he wrote. "For this reason PK can be easily used by new players. When players get more experienced and use these mind games and tricks in combination with the speed of the PK, she is nearly impossible to beat in a 1v1 scenario." 

The purpose of the message was to call for a ban on the use of the Peacekeeper class in MLG tournaments, and MLG, reflecting the seriousness of the complaint, agreed. "For online tournaments, we will try running a tournament with peacekeeper banned, and then send a poll," tournament supervisor "The Shadow" replied. "If the community is largely in favor of banning the hero then we will do so." 

So it's not a permanent ban, then, but without a rebalance it sounds like a step toward one, especially if enough players (and, I would assume, spectators) support the move. It's an unusual situation that illustrates the difficulties inherent in creating and maintaining a multiplayer combat game, and why constant playtesting—even when it seems unnecessarily drawn-out and repetitive—is so important. Ubisoft will undoubtedly dull the Peacekeeper's sharp edges eventually, but when and to what extent, and how it will impact tournament play, is impossible to say.   

I've emailed Ubisoft and MLG for more information and will update if I receive a reply. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.