"All parched and weathered, we yearned for the days past. We growl at the scorching sun. Then, shimmers of dust, breathing ashes. They came from nowhere... They left us in awe."
"天運、我にあり (Ten'un, ware ni ari)."
Year of the Covenants: Season 2, named "Mirage," is the eighteenth season of the ongoing Faction War. Both the Chimera and Horkos have had their celebration, only followed by a dry spell that has caused a drought throughout Heathmoor. Water has become scarce, and wildlife cannot sustain admist the new heat, yet the two covenants keep on fighting. In this hot climate, what illusions will the warriors see...?
"When humanity's pride would lead to our downfall. When the Heavens themselves would forsake us. The Kyoshin alone would look up to see what was hidden; to hear what was silenced; to cherish what was about to fade."
"Shedding their old selves, shimmering along the haze. Embracing a new power, to be transformed and awakened. they would carve their own path in the land of fire."
Warriors everywhere sealed new alliances through the Covenants, but another great enemy was about to challenge their renewed vigor. This new threat was not just another clan or army trying to reap more territories. After centuries of being spoiled and exhausted by humanity's thirst for power, Mother Nature herself was about to show the true extent of her burning wrath. An intense drought befell Heathmoor, endangering crops and fortifications everywhere.
While the Horkos saw the calamity as another opportunity to prove their might, the Chimera struggled to maintain solidarity among their ranks, with less resources to share between themselves. Even then, the scorching heat toys with the minds of the most ferocious warriors, bringing forth new demons and nightmares. Who will be their salvation?
Changes from the previous Testing Grounds are now live, bringing in a kit rework or change for seven Heroes: Shugoki, Berserker, Gladiator, Zhanhu, Aramusha, Jiang Jun and Hitokiri. As mentioned before, these Heroes were deemed to have lower than desired viability, thus were given new or reworked tools to be able to function better. Below are the overall changes, with additional changes on top of the TG changes highlighted in italics; if you wish to see more details on the changes, see the full patch notes here.
- Heavy Attacks: Charged Heavy Finishers have had their feint timing adjust so that they work properly. Heavy Finishers should also now connect when feinted to GB.
- Headbutt overall has been changed to now deal 10 Health damage instead of stunning or dealing stamina damage. Headbutt in chains is now 500ms, can be initiated from forward or side dodges.
- Has access to a Dodge Forward Heavy, which acts much like Crashing Thunder. Uninterruptible stance properly added.
- Demon's Embrace returns to being a "Back + GB" input, and has been removed from being a Soft Feint option on Heavies (still can perform it after a GB throw). Functions as a 900ms move that deals 20 damage and heals for 10 (down from 22 and 18 respectively). Hyper Armor has been removed from the move, and will recover the target's stamina when successful. Recovery has been decreased to 1300ms (from 2000ms); blocking can happen as early as 1000ms.
- Charge of the Oni functions much like Shinobi's Super Sprint. Double Tap the sprint button to enter Charge of the Oni, increasing movement speed at the cost of Stamina. Move does not feature any special features, such as Knock Aside or Hyper Armor.
- Hyper Armor removed from Light attacks.
- Top Light is now the same as Side Lights, both from neutral and after Feint.
- Sprint Attack's range and forward movement increased.
- Dodge Forward Heavy's range and forward movement increased. Fixed issues in regards to target swapping, lock on rotation and hit recognition.
- Light Dodge Attacks are now Enhanced. Forward Dodge Light now has slightly decreased range but increased forward movement.
- Fuscina Ictus (Toe Stab) deals 10 damage (from 6). No longer unbalances OoS opponents.
- Fuscina Ictus, Zone Attack and X can chain into Heavy Finishers or Skewer. Side Dodge Melee and Light attacks can now chain to Skewer.
- Skewer now costs 12 stamina (from 20). Bind Hit Reaction has been reduced to 400ms (from 800ms) if the Gladiator cancels the Skewer with a Dodge. Now generates 30 Revenge (same as Fuscina Ictus).
- Forward Dodge Melee is now 500ms from 600ms, and Forward Dodge Light has better range. Side Dodge Attacks now have I-frames, with Side Dodge Melee having better range. Dodge Melee now deals 10 Stamina (from 30), no longer stuns and does not pause Stamina regeneration.
- All Dodge Cancels have been normalized to be 333ms into the recovery. All Attacks (including Finishers) can now be Dodge Cancelled.
- Side Dodge Attacks are now Enhanced. Forward Dodge Light is now 500ms to prevent it from being frame advantaged.
- Subduing Counterblow has been removed, with the move made into a Forward Dodge Melee, renamed Subduing Blow. It is 500ms and chains into Openers, guaranteeing a Light Opener or Zone on-hit.
- Upon successfully blocking an attack with a Superior Block Dodge, follow-up Dodge Attacks will be Unblockable and have increased damage (24 for the Front Dodge Heavy, 22 for all others).
- Right Finisher trajectory improved by having a similar trajectory to that of the Left Finisher. Light Finishers are now 566ms.
- Light Openers now have better forward movement and can properly backstep with them.
- Blade Blockade has been reworked. Can now be access during the recoveries of any attack (hit/miss/block). Light and Heavy Inputs have been generalized, with Light input dealing a quick 20 damage attack while Heavy input is a 16 damage wide sweeping attack with zone properties; both are guaranteed, Uninterruptible and Unblockable, with the Light input also being Undodgeable. Ring the Bell has been removed as a move (more noted below).
- Ring the Bell is now a move accessed as a soft-feint from Heavy Openers and Dodge Forward Heavy with the GB input. Damage timing properly adjusted to inflict on-hit (was at-bind before). Does not have Hyper Armor, and deals 12 health damage instead of stamina damage.
- Side attacks on Forward Dodge Heavy removed, adapted into Side Dodge Heavy moves. Forward Dodge Heavy has armor starting later into the move, and has been increased to 800ms (from 600ms) to support the soft-feint.
- Attack chain flow now can be done as long as it is not done from the same side (from being Top ->Side->Top->etc. exclusive).
- Neutral Heavies and Neutral Heavy Feints have increased forward movement to ensure Feint-to-GB works. Heavy Chains, Light chains and Heavy Finishers also have more forward movement.
- Forward Dodge has proper blocking now (before, block would become empty during the dodge).
- Jiang Jun
- Heavy Openers are now slightly faster, while Heavy Finishers can now soft-feint to GB. Stamina costs on Side Heavies have been normalized to 12 (from 24 or 28). Trajectory fixed on side Heavies to fit with their animations.
- Forward Dodge Heavy now is 600ms and does not soft-feint to Kick (moved to being its own move), nor can it feint either. New Dodge Forward Kick is 500ms and deals 20 Stamina damage (from 30).
- Can now cancel the Recoveries of Dodge attacks with Sifu's Poise.
- Zone Attack from Sifu's Poise is now Unblockable and has less knockback to ensure that a follow-up Heavy-feint-into-GB will connect.
- Dou Shi's Choke recovery is longer to ensure that it does not guarantee damage. Stamina damage has been cut in half, down to 23 to 30 (from 44 to 60).
- Zone Attack, Sprint Attack and Forward Dodge Heavy are now Chain Openers. Sprint Attack also is able to chain to OoL chain attacks.
- New Side Dodge Heavy move that is 600ms, hits from the opposite side of the dodge, and acts as a Chain Opener.
- Rei Sweep now can Chain back into Mugen-ryu, guaranteeing a Chained Heavy when successful. Also allows Hitokiri to use a T4 after the Sweep.
- Chain Heavies (not Openers) now have Hyper Armor at button release, with Side Heavies having their forward movement and trajectories improved. Damage has been reduced to 22 (from 24).
- Rei Kick and Rei Sweep now only deal 10 Stamina damage (from 15 and 30 respectively), and no longer pause Stamina regeneration. Rei Kick also has increased range to prevent it from being backwalked.
- On top of these changes, the Feat "Rock Steady" has been removed. Replacing it is "Short-Tempered," a passive that allows the Hero to deal 20% more damage for a short duration after taking damage from an enemy Hero. 5 second duration, 10 second cooldown.
- Developer’s comment - Rock Steady was a ‘problematic’ feat, matched only by Thick Blood. Both Feats had completely obliterated entire opponent move sets, making Bleed heroes obsolete (for Thick Blood) and heroes who need an Unbalance to reach their special moves useless (like Caber Toss giving no guaranteed damage). There’s no defending the old functionality of these two Feats, and now players and devs alike can sleep soundly at night knowing that they are both gone forever.
- “Short-Tempered” we feel will keep some of the flavour of Rock Steady, in that when you get hit you will then gain a benefit. Unlike the unhealthy behaviour of Rocksteady, Short-Tempered benefits you a little bit no matter what hero you face, and never makes a part of an enemy's kit obsolete.
Visions of the Kyoshin
With the arrival of the new season comes a mystery. Warriors have been stricken with unusual visions as they visit the grounds of Kyoshin Temple. Join this modified Dominion game where you will have to defeat Kyoshin warriors who stand on either side points on Temple Garden. Once you defeat one, gain their powers on top of the ability to see the world in another light.
For more details on the event and gamemode, check out the dedicated Visions of the Kyoshin article page.
Another battlepass is here. Through the hundred tiers, get access to the new collections of items that you'll be able to unlock as you progress through the free or premium pass. Battle Pass and season content will be themed around the arid deserts, representing the season that has been dropped into a dry spell. All the weapon visuals reflect this with their bone-dry looks of sand and brown hues.
As all warriors struggled with the drought, the Samurai were reminded of the Heavenly Ones, the embodiment of light and mirages in their pantheon of deities. According to many legends, they would appear during heatwaves to warn people of how impermanent things were and would always be, no matter how weak or strong one was.
Bring your customization to a whole new level with new mystic flame aesthetics and dry-boned weapons for your character's look through the 100 Tiers of rewards available for all heroes, all worth over a million Steel! For the premium tier, there is included the Head-to-Head Pair emote at tier 0, with many more rewards down the line. As this pass is seasonal, progression through the Pass will reset at the end of the season.
Free & Premium Pass
The Season Pass has two ranks: the Free Pass and the Premium Pass. All players will have access to the Free Pass, earning rewards which include embossings, ornaments, an emblem outline, color swatches, paint patterns and more. Rewards are earned every few tiers.
The Premium Pass on the other hand offers the bulk of rewards, such as new signatures, new weapons, new executions, new effects, and more. Premium Pass owners will still receive rewards from the Free Pass. The Premium Pass also offers +10% Battle Points, the points necessary to progress through the Battle Pass tiers.
As both Pass' progression are shared, a player is able to upgrade to a Premium Pass and receive all rewards they would have gotten if they had purchased the Premium Pass from the start.
Take note that the purpose of the Battle Pass is to guarantee rewards for players, compared to how all rewards were based around random drops post-match or scavenger crates. The Battle Pass however will not replace any current system of cosmetics and loot gain, such as the above mentioned random drops, any event loot or the content of the week.
Content of the Battle Pass, even for the Premium Pass, will only be character customization items and consumables, preventing a pay-to-win model. All tiers are also visible to Free Pass owners, so there are no hidden rewards. However, the exclusive rewards in the Premium Pass may become unobtainable at the end of the season.
Progression through the tiers of either Passes can be hastened with Steel, skipping either 1, 5 or 20 tiers at once. The price for hastening progress is static through the tiers and between both ranks of Battle Passes.
New Season Content & Map Changes
While more content will come later in the season, new Outfits, Emotes & Signatures have made their way into the game over the weeks prior to the start of the season. This includes the Paired Emote Raising Glasses and the No Water for the Week Signature.
Some maps have also been affected by the drought, becoming barren of wildlife. Such maps are the Belvedere, High Fort, Temple Garden and the Forest. There is also new menu music and new background visuals for all menus to reflect the coming of the Kyoshin during this drought.
New Hero: Kyoshin
The Kyoshin are legendary Samurai who have a deep connection to the spiritual realms. Their special training led them to master the art of fighting with a concealed blade, the Shikomizue. While they flow through battle wielding their sword and scabbard, they use heavenly powers to gain the upper hand against the enemy. Their special Kaze Stance can block incoming attacks and allow them to retaliate quickly.
He can be purchased for immediate access with monetary currency in the Kyoshin Hero Offer bundle, or purchased seperately with in-game currency two weeks later. Purchasing him through the bundle not only gives access to the Kyoshin, but also offers an exclusive elite outfit, an exclusive ornament, 3 Scavenger Crates and 7 days of Champion Status.
See more about the Kyoshin on their designated page here.
Arrival of the Kyoshin
In celebration of the Kyoshin's arrival, special lore orders were hosted. Below is a list of all the lore orders:
- Ascetic Training - "Infants believed to be born of Yokai can find a new home in the Myre, by becoming apprentices of the elder Kyoshin. They must follow an ascetic training to expand their physical, mental and spiritual abilities."
- Heavenly Revelation - "When the apprentice Kyoshin reach adulthood, they go through a ritual called the "Heavenly Revelation" where, according to legends, they vow to serve nature's harmony and are granted mystical powers from Samurai deities."
- Good and Evil - "The Kyoshin are taught from the youngest age to understand the forces of nature and embrace all its dualities. True wisdom comes from those who can see beyond what is right or wrong, what is light or dark."
- Born Outcasts - "Children with unusual characteristics are sometimes believed to be born of Yokai and treated as outcasts among their peers. But one of the ways for them to survive is to join the Kyoshin priests."
- Light and Shadow - "While many warriors try to choose between good and evil, the Kyoshin are determined to keep the balance of nature. They can join any side to achieve their goal."
- Kyoshin and Covenants - "After the battle of the Kyoshin Temple, people started to see the Kyoshin join both Covenants. While both Horkos and Chimera had doubts about their true allegiance, they still welcomed them among their ranks."
- Masters of Disguise - "The Kyoshin have existed long before the drought. They were rumored to be masters of disguise, taking the appearance of other warriors and working from the shadows to maintain the balance of power in the world."
- Kyoshin's Liberation - "The ability to choose or adapt. To belong to neither or both sides. To breathe and fight like the wind. This is our freedom."
- Wildfires - "Following the intense heat wave, massive wildfires started to ravage some of the beautiful forests of Heathmoor. People from all factions prayed to the gods of rain and water while trying to survive the catastrophe."
- The Awakening - "Shedding their old selves, shimmering along the haze. Embracing a new power, to be transformed and awakened. The Kyoshin would carve their own path in the land of fire."
- Wind and Shadow - "Kyoshin warriors fight and move gracefully on the battlefield. It is sometimes suggested they have learned from spirits of the wind and shadow how to withstand the hardships."
- An Old Tale - "When humanity’s pride would lead to our downfall. When the Heavens themselves would forsake us. The Kyoshin alone would look up to see what was hidden; to hear what was silenced; to cherish what was about to fade."
- Kyoshin's Wisdom - "To live as a soldier, or die as a hero. To protect the past, or fight for the future. To strive for the heavens, or carve a path to hell. The crux lies in everyone's heart, but it is also a gift."
- Adaptable Warrior:
- A Scribe's Journal (1) - "I actually visited the Kyoshin Temple once, even before the drought happened. At that time, I did not suspect their true capabilities, they appeared to me as peaceful Samurai priests with vast knowledge about the world."
- A Scribe's Journal (2) - "A Kyoshin apprentice lectured me once about life. When I asked if they were happy to live in the Temple, they told me that most people do not dare to seek happiness in a world torn by the war. They seek recognition."
- A Scribe's Journal (3) - "As the Wildfires ravaged the lands, some accused the Kyoshin to have caused them. But a Kyoshin told me once that what they saw, in these flames... was destruction, but also life, burning to be reborn and doused once more."
- Event Orders:
- Arrival of the Kyoshin - "The Kyoshin are mystical warriors wielding a Shikomizue."
- Arrival of the Kyoshin - "Shikomizue means “cane sword.’ It is a blade concealed in a scabbard."
- Arrival of the Kyoshin - "The Kyoshin use heavenly powers to turn the tide of a battle."
A number of new content was introduced during the midseason. There is the Gambler's Fallacy Battle Outfit and the Dreams of Equilibrium Ornament. For a limited time, two other items will be available for the next three weeks: the Apocalyptic Firestorm Mythic Outfit, where your Hero dons a set of blazing black wings; the new Execution, Ilma's Helping Hand, a unique randomized Execution where Ilma will hand the Hero a random weapon for them to cut down their opponent with.
A few other changes have also been made to the game:
- Map changes were made to reflect the growing drought in the lore of For Honor. These maps include Citadel Gate, Sanctuary Bridge and more.
- The Customization UI has had a change, where "gender" is now renamed to "body type." Default "body type" (and voice) are associated as "1" while the alternate is "2." Heroes' customization options should not be affected by this change, as it is only a UI update.
- Death caused by being pushed into the gate on Qiang Pass has been fixed.
- Multiple animation-related and camera angle bugs have been fixed with the patch. Many other customization related bugs have been fixed too.
See more specific details about the midseason update here.
- Prior to the start of the season, a weekly event order stated "Premonition - in one of the most beautiful and serene spaces." This was speculated to refer to Temple Garden, as some Japanese characters were found written on some rocks on Zone C (under the tree).
- What was written was "蜃気楼" (shinkirou) which literally translates to "Mirage," which would later be revealed to be the name of Year 5, Season 2.
- The phrase said at the end of the story trailer, "天運、我にあり," roughly translates to "Heavens, be with me" or "The Heavens are with me."
- The phrase whispered throughout the Launch Trailer is "儚き夢か．．．露の命か．．．諸行無常なり" (hakanaki yume ka... tsuyu no inochi ka... shogyōmujō nari). It was subtitled as "A fleeting dream, a fragile life, the impermanence of all things," but can also be translated as "The fleeting dreams and the lives that are like dew, they are (all a show of) impermanence."
- The weapon featured in the Battle Pass Exclusive execution, "Mirage of Encirclement," is the Chakram, a weapon that originates from the Indian subcontinent. While primarily a throwing weapon, as shown in the execution, it can also be used for close quarters combat.
- The name mentioned in the Apocalyptic Firestorm set's effect name, Suzaku, which is the Japanese name for the Vermillion Bird, a bird present in many Asian cultures and represents fire, the summer and the South direction.
- The "Ilma's Helping Hand" execution, as noted above, is unique in that the Hero will be handed one of three weapons randomly from off-screen: a handaxe, a shortsword or a Dao blade.