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Breach – Strategic Team-Based 4v4 Castle Siege Mode

06/14/2018 12:00 PM

Breach is a brand new asymmetrical 4v4 PvP mode that emphasizes strategy and communication just as much as mastery of combat. Teams are split into attackers and defenders during a full-blown fortress siege featuring a massive battering ram, siege weapons, and an army’s worth of NPC minions, pikemen, and archers. Each match is split into three phases, as the attacking team must escort the battering ram in order to breach the defending team’s outer wall and inner gate. Once the attackers have made it past those first two stages, they must defeat the defender’s Lord, an AI-controlled boss with a ton of health and capable of dealing massive AoE damage. Defeat him, and you’ll secure a victory for the attacking team.

“We always wanted to do a longer, more strategic game mode,” says Game Director Damien Kieken. “We wanted to fulfill the fantasy of attacking and defending a castle, and that’s how Breach became Breach.”

Defenders will be tasked with stopping the attacking team, either by destroying the battering ram or by killing the attackers. While defenders can respawn without limits, attackers have a limited amount of respawn tickets; deplete those, and the defenders will win. This places an even greater emphasis on reviving downed teammates, as being revived will not consume a respawn ticket.

“Attackers win the game with specific actions [breaching the walls and defeating the Lord],” says Campos-Oriola. “We wanted defenders to be able to win the game with a specific action, as well. We didn’t want the objective of the defenders to be waiting for a timer to count down. The ticket system means that killing opponents can win you the game.”

Breach matches play out like full-blown sieges, with countless soldiers running through the battlefield attacking and defending the battering ram, and archers raining down arrows from ramparts above. For the attacking team to advance the ram, at least one player must be near it. A single defender can halt the ram’s progress by being nearby, but to do so puts them at risk of being surrounded by attacking heroes. Enemy heroes won’t be the only thing you have to worry about; each team’s army consists of a mix of AI-controlled minions, pikemen, captains, and archers who will help attack or defend the battering ram and their respective heroes. Managing these enemies is important to victory, as they can do some serious damage to the battering ram, and if you’re not careful, they can overwhelm you as well.

While the battering ram travels down a center lane, it’s important to control side lanes to manage the flow of the battle. Defending archers positioned in the side lanes can slow the ram’s progress and severely damage it. Taking them out will replace them with archers from the attacking team and help you expedite the siege. As a final line of defense, the defending team has access to multiple siege weapons, like ballistae and a cauldron positioned directly over the gates, the latter of which deals massive damage by pouring boiling oil onto the ram and nearby army.

While Dominion and Tribute modes involve some objective-based play, Breach’s objectives make your choice of hero and their skill loadouts more important than ever before. Perhaps you need a tanky Shugoki to escort the ram, or a speedy Peacekeeper to take out enemy archers. You may want to rethink your skill build to focus on wave clearing or health regeneration. Each hero’s unique skillset plays a vital role in Breach mode.

“For the first time in For Honor, the way you build your feats and loadouts is impacted based on whether you are attacking or defending,” says Campos-Oriola. “Now, if you’re defending, you have to consider: do you want to go for traps? Do you want to go for more direct damage to take out the ram? Are you going to go for more heals, so you can heal the Lord at the end? You have more roles now than ever before.”

Once the final gate has been breached, the attacking team enters the Lord’s Court. At this point, they can try to end the match by defeating the Lord. The Lord utilizes large area-of-effect attacks, meaning he can hold his own even against multiple attackers. Since the ram is no longer needed, the only way the defenders can win as this point is to exhaust all the attacking team’s respawn tickets. Strategy is still important in this final phase, as the Lord’s Court features archer stations and a ballista, and controlling them is crucial for victory.

Breach mode will be free for all For Honor players when Marching Fire launches on October 16.

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