Survey Says: Shove Stagger

Greetings Contestants!

Thank you all for coming out en masse for the Origins launch! We’re happy with our initial results but we’re certainly not satisfied yet. We think there are plenty of potential contestants out there who don’t even know about The Culling or that it’s free-to-play. We’ve got some big plans to change that, so stay tuned.

We also want to thank you for being so excellent about reporting issues and giving feedback. Origins was always intended as a fresh start and that means there is plenty of forward progress to be made. This means a new opportunity for us to put lessons learned into practice.

First off, we want to address the issue of missing Tokens.

We know that some number of users have not received the Tokens that are included as part of the Founder’s Pack. We are working on a fix to prevent this from happening. Once the fix has been implemented, we will go through all users to ensure they receive the Tokens they are entitled to. We apologize for the inconvenience.

There are several other items we’ve been hearing about that we’re looking at. Among them are Push-to-Talk, Bow Accuracy, Teaming, and a handful of significant bugs and exploits. We intend to roll out a patch as soon as possible (hopefully before the end of the week) that addresses many of these.


As we set about writing this diary, we found ourselves wanting to go back to the Day 1 Reference servers to do some research. We found that this was harder to do than we wanted because those servers required 8 players to start a match. Moving forward, you can start a match with as few as 2 players, so we encourage you to do what we did. Grab a friend and compare Day 1 with Origins for yourselves.


In this diary we want to drill down on one particularly hot topic —  SHOVE SPAM. The situation that highlights this problem is when combat becomes a  2-on-1, where a team can permanently stun-lock a single player by doing nothing but shoving repeatedly.

It’s worth noting that we did not intentionally make any changes to combat mechanics in Origins vs. Day 1 and we approached this problem assuming we may have missed something. As such, we’ve taken another close look at Day 1 side by side with Origins. Here’s what we’ve found:

DAY 1: In this build, being shoved (as long as you’re not blocking) is a lot like taking a tiny jab. You take a small amount of damage and you play a brief (roughly 0.8 seconds) hit reaction animation, which also moves your character a short distance opposite the direction you were hit from. During this hit reaction, you are unable to move, but you are free to take other actions.

If you are struck while shoving, you can receive a full stagger, although this can only happen during a small window.

We also found that in Day 1, the range of shoves is nearly 15% larger than melee attacks. This allows a player to execute a shove without being hit by a counter-attack.

ORIGINS: In the Origins update, things are very similar to Day 1. One difference is that if you are shoved from the front or from behind, your first-person hit reaction is visually bugged. Being shoved from behind actually causes the camera to detach from your character, and you see your headless body lurch forward. Despite the visual differences being off-putting, this functionality behaves the same as Day 1, with the same timing and potential for stun-lock if you are shoved repeatedly.

One thing that did change slightly in Origins is that if you jab a shoving player, your window to stagger them is larger, but it still feels inconsistent and requires precise timing, so jabbing does not feel like a useful counter to shove-spamming.

Origins retains the inconsistent range of shoves vs. attacks.


We remain committed to the rules and feel of Day 1 combat, so we want to minimize changes. That said, when things are inconsistent, buggy, or don’t communicate well, it’s worth fixing.

With that in mind, there are three problems to address:

  • In Origins, being shoved doesn’t communicate properly due to animation bugs.

  • In Origins and Day 1, jabbing a shoving player doesn’t consistently result in a stagger.

  • In Origins and Day 1, shoving has an advantage over attacking due to a longer range.

Our fixes are as follows:

  • When you are shoved, you play a hit reaction animation similar to that when you are jabbed. This tells you you’ve been struck, but your hands remain on-screen and you know you are free to take combat action, even if your movement is briefly impaired.

  • If you attack a shoving player, they will be staggered, consistently. This makes the rule clear: Jab beats shove. Shove beats block. Block beats Jab.

  • Shove’s range is reduced to match that of jab (and charged attacks). This means consistent range for all combat actions across all weapons.

The net result of these changes is that the system will behave more cleanly and consistently and results in a clear counter for shove spam.

We’d like to hear your reaction to this plan. We’d also like to know what you think our top priorities should be. Please take a moment to complete our new survey.

Until Next Time,

We’ll see you on the Island.