A recent For Honor tournament acted as a cautionary tale for fighting game developers everywhere. Held at the Intel Esports Arena in Burbank, one For Honor player managed to win an official tournament (meant to celebrate the launch of For Honor Season 3) by continuously abusing a pretty huge in-game exploit. Known as the “unlock tech,” this trick allows Nobushi players to make her attacks unparryable. While you can still block Nobushi’s attacks, the lack of a parry makes it so you’re pretty much stuck on the defensive for the entire game. When you combine this with Nobushi’s massive range and power, you’ve got the makings of a disaster.
The exploit has been common knowledge for months, with the victorious player Jakub “Alernakin” Palen even writing a lengthy Reddit post which implored Ubisoft to patch out the unlock tech. In tournament, Alernakin made it very obviously that he was exploiting the unlock tech for free wins, stating that he “hadn’t played the game for two weeks” during his victory speech.
For Honor‘s creative director was clearly displeased by Palen’s antics, saying that he would “have to change [his] playstyle” for upcoming events. Ubisoft did release patch notes ahead of the tournament, which stated that not only was unlock teching “unintended behavior,” but that the balance team were in the progress of nixing this rather troublesome exploit. Unfortunately, the well-needed balance change was not rolled out in time for this tournament, giving Palen an easy ride to $10,000.
So take note fighting game developers and tournament organizers everywhere: if there is a potentially game-breaking exploit in your game, either patch it ASAP or ban players from using it on pain of disqualification. If you want to see Palen’s tournament run, you can watch the tournament VOD below: