Hey! So I’ve been playing fighting games for the longest time and of course picked up MK11 when it came out on PS4. I’m writing this from the perspective of a product designer (not games) but I know a fair share of how to keep users with different motivations engaged when building out a new product.
After having taken most of the non-DLC chars into the lab to understand their moves and frames associated, I had quite a bit of fun playing with friends and occasional ranked/casual online matches.
My main critique comes in when I played Kombat League (different account) for a few seasons and hearing/reading most player’s feedback about it.
I think that the specific case of KL really brings a few flaws to light when it comes to how the overall game mechanic and move sets manifest themselves in everyday online gameplay.
Characters like Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Erron Black, Jackie Brix (Upgraded), Jade etc. do not incentivize players to become better at the game. Simple combos, readily available fatal blows (30% overall damage x sometimes full screen) and unjustified plus frames (Kitana in particulat) invite players to troll and abuse the character in online gameplay rather than trying to play a FG. I will leave some of the 50/50s out that are basically unreactable to online and matchups are deceiving (and force-matching) players with false ping data.
Generally, having played the game for a while and grinding to demi- and god-rank has just been a bad experience I went through rather than enjoying the matchups.
I’d really love NRS to take another look at the FG they’ve created and the tools / mechanisms they’ve put at players disposal (and use KL as a case study – there should be enough data and feedback after 14 of them).
– Make fatal blows combo-dependent. Ie. a player can only utilize the fatal blow as combo ender, rather than on wake up or randonmly. It should require skill.
– Add a level of difficulty to combos that deal 25-35 % damage – players that care to learn the game should feel the incentive of dealing massive damage based on skill.
– Make moves that have proven to be spammed too often in KL by certain player types and chars more minus (ie. they will have to understand there is risk involved).
– Give players in KL the opportunity to reject WiFi connections (no matter the ping NRS shows on the matchup)
I think I can come up with more, however, that’s what I’ve observed. Would love to hear you guys ideas, feedback, suggestions based on your own game experience!
**Edit:** It’s awesome to get so much insight from players on this! Seems like Network filter is the one thing everyone is in favor of!