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Hot Take: Third variations will have little to no effect on the meta

Will third variations have an impact on the meta?


  • Total voters
    243

M2Dave

Zoning Master
Royal Contributor
The lesson learned from Mortal Kombat X is that the variation system does not work. Players choose the same variation 90% of the time. Only a handful of characters have a second variation that is worth using in certain match ups. The problem is that by choosing the secondary or tertiary variation you almost almost give up your best special move. I predict that this problem will also remain in Mortal Kombat 11.

Shang Tsung, for example, has all the ninja special moves in his third variation. The problem is that none of these moves are as good as the ground eruption or the corpse drop, both of which he loses. The shake is admittedly one of the best anti-zoning tools in the game, but the ninja moves are not as complementary to the shake as the ground eruption and the corpse drop would be. So I theorize that this variation will be inferior to Warlock, especially once players learn to fuzzy guard the b+1,d+2 / EX slide mix up. Shang Tsung is my main character, but he is only one example. I have talked to several other players who feel the same way about their main character's third variation as I do about Shang Tsung's.

I am genuinely more excited about universal and character specific changes than I am about the third variations. Adjustments such as Jax's fatal blow hitting high and Liu Kang's f+4 being slowed down by two frames will actually have an impact on the meta unlike some of these third variations which will likely never be seen in tournament play.

What do you think? Vote in the poll and/or comment in this thread.
 

Zer0_h0ur

XBL tag: South of Zero
REO said multiple times it's irrelevant what they do with Erron Black bc the combination of moves won't be better than 52 pickup.

Its all contingent on actual changes to existing moves or new moves themselves, like what happened with Noob's Seeing Double slide. Got faster, got launching ability, got easier access to the KB.

More to your point, the variation system is inherently unbalanced because it also limits KB's to certain variations for certain characters. No fucking way you get the shadow KB with Dark Sabbath. And Kollector's chakram KB is impossible to get in his two existing variations right now. Then we have characters like the champion who has 5 or 6 KB's locked and loaded in 1 variation.

I don't think the meta changes at all, and yeah agree variations suck.
 

Marlow

Premium
Premium Supporter
I feel like the Meta of a game changes over time naturally anyways. Adding some new variations could potentially give characters new answers to the current meta, which would then force a shift. So yeah, I think it'll change the meta. Probably not going to turn the game on it's head or anything, but it'll have an impact for sure.
 

Inzzane_79

Every time someone farts, a demon gets his wings
Premium Supporter
Way too soon to say anything about the 3rd variations imo

We also haven´t seen the patch notes yet which could also bring other changes to moves that could probably change how a character plays in certain situations. Frame data changes can also make a huge effect, another points we have no clue about yet
 

Name v.5.0

Iowa's Finest.
I dont know...There's a handful of characters that can use both variations. Maybe at the very highest levels it doesn't matter, but Scorpion, Sub Zero, Dvorah, Jax, Sonya, Kung Lao, Noob, Cage, and Kabal all have 2 viable variations that I regularly see online. I don't think a third variation will change much, but it'll definitely have an impact.
 

Savage8-8

Premium
Premium Supporter
I love playing the game and I'm looking forward to a new variation for my character. But when I think about it the reason I'm excited is bc I get new moves to use in kompetitive mode. I like how they implemented the variations this time but I still do not like the idea of variations period. I almost forgot that I was praying that this game didn't have them when it was announced lol. I accept the fact that we have them but I wish we didn't.
 

Braindead

I want Kronika to step on my face
Don't think the new variations will have an effect other than refreshing things for a while, just like adding a few new chars would. But I'm looking forward to the balance patch notes. Hopefully there's good juice there.

Adding new chars doesn't change the meta, changing existing stuff does.
 

Metzos

You will BOW to me!
Premium Supporter
The lesson learned from Mortal Kombat X is that the variation system does not work. Players choose the same variation 90% of the time. Only a handful of characters have a second variation that is worth using in certain match ups. The problem is that by choosing the secondary or tertiary variation you almost almost give up your best special move. I predict that this problem will also remain in Mortal Kombat 11.

Shang Tsung, for example, has all the ninja special moves in his third variation. The problem is that none of these moves are as good as the ground eruption or the corpse drop, both of which he loses. The shake is admittedly one of the best anti-zoning tools in the game, but the ninja moves are not as complementary to the shake as the ground eruption and the corpse drop would be. So I theorize that this variation will be inferior to Warlock, especially once players learn to fuzzy guard the b+1,d+2 / EX slide mix up. Shang Tsung is my main character, but he is only one example. I have talked to several other players who feel the same way about their main character's third variation as I do about Shang Tsung's.

I am genuinely more excited about universal and character specific changes than I am about the third variations. Adjustments such as Jax's fatal blow hitting high and Liu Kang's f+4 being slowed down by two frames will actually have an impact on the meta unlike some of these third variations which will likely never be seen in tournament play.

What do you think? Vote in the poll and/or comment in this thread.
I listened to your podcast with REO and Tom and while i agree with many things you guys said, i believe its still early to reach any conclusions. They said that they will change some moves as well before merging them to the third variations. Even if the patch notes come out we still need the patch to hit and lab shit before we jump into any conclusions imo.
 

kcd117

Noob
I’m waiting for the patch notes to see what really changed but if they only madr minor tweaks than the ONLY new variations I can see being better than current ones and really putting characters in the map are Kotal’s totem stuff (wtf he doesn’t die) and Kollector chakran shit (which can potentially make him broken) and that is it.

My day 1 main for example, Kano, got dropped bc he is one of the 3 characters who can’t play strike/throw kombat 11 at all and no variation will save him until he gets a decent mid and 112 becomes cancelable.
 
Have a feeling kangs command grab with his plus frames is going to be a problem. Shangs ninjas are going to suck. Pt disparity in kombat league will still be a joke.
It's a true high command grab. (Whiffs on crouch blocks) Itll only be a problem in his stance. Of course if they change it to a normal command grab he'll be able to tick throw off B1 and B124
 
Unless there are drastic changes in how some of the moves work then I really do not see more than a few characters benefiting at a tournament level. I spent a large amount of time going through the variations discussed and I really do not see any big advantages.

Cetrion's best variation needs geyser. The third is just the left overs clumped together. All of your defensive bar for a random buff that lasts a few seconds and is requires a bar of meter to get put out safely and a tornado that is redundant with boulder.

This sums up the vast majority of third variations. At least it will provide some things to lab but I am afraid the top tier will still be the top tier.

As an aside, lui kang now having a legit teleport makes him the most complete character in NRS history on the level of martian manhunter and the like. Command grab wont be a big deal unless it hits crouch blockers... if that's the case it will be nuts given his staggers and plus frames. already has top 3 strike/throw mix in the game

This game absolutely killed character archtypes and for some reason the best rush down characters in the game also have some of the best zoning.

I guess its better than nothing though.
 
Iz this what you and the 30+ yo gang does now? Makes polls and try to create useless threads to make you feel like your opinion in the community still matters? Y’all haven’t been relevant for years lol

Why ppl still act like like you have any authority here is beyond me
 

xenogorgeous

Do I look like your secretary?
Premium Supporter
Iz this what you and the 30+ yo gang does now? Makes polls and try to create useless threads to make you feel like your opinion in the community still matters? Y’all haven’t been relevant for years lol

Why ppl still act like like you have any authority here is beyond me
lol this was mean , haha :rolleyes:
 

AZ MotherBrain

If you believe enough, -7 could be +7
I think I depends on the character, but overall, I don’t think variations change much of anything. players are more inclined to change character over variation
 

OzzFoxx

Hardcore gaming poser.
Premium Supporter
I voted yes because many non viable characters will now become viable. But your poll is unrelated to your post where you argue that variations “don’t work.” Variations are primarily meant to make the game more enjoyable by adding discovery and experimentation, not to broaden the competitive scene. In this capacity, variations work very well as they nearly all are unique enough to entice creativity. Regarding the competitive scene, I think that many more variations are viable but they require work to be put in to learn how to best use the characters. It is common to see someone succeed with a character and then others imitate their play style as that variation now has an optimal way to be played. Many variations just never get fleshed out to the same degree.
 

M2Dave

Zoning Master
Royal Contributor
I listened to your podcast with REO and Tom and while i agree with many things you guys said, i believe its still early to reach any conclusions. They said that they will change some moves as well before merging them to the third variations. Even if the patch notes come out we still need the patch to hit and lab shit before we jump into any conclusions imo.
I understand your point, but I am arguing against the principles of the variation system. You do not need to know any specifics to understand that the variation system is flawed. Even if a character's third variation is really strong because of buffed properties, the third variation will merely replace the other two.

Iz this what you and the 30+ yo gang does now? Makes polls and try to create useless threads to make you feel like your opinion in the community still matters? Y’all haven’t been relevant for years lol

Why ppl still act like like you have any authority here is beyond me
If revelance is required to have an opinion, who are you and why should your opinion matter to me?
 
Iz this what you and the 30+ yo gang does now? Makes polls and try to create useless threads to make you feel like your opinion in the community still matters? Y’all haven’t been relevant for years lol

Why ppl still act like like you have any authority here is beyond me
Another millennial who thinks you are only allowed to have an opinion if it agrees with them. His post was discussion generating not blind hate like yours.
 

DeftMonk

Noob
can you guys imagine if kangs command grab was a tick throw off of f4. edit: or if it was a tick throw off his 9 f mid b1. OH WAIT IT IS. Oh good.
 
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I think it has the potential to. I mean I’m gonna play Shang now because of the ninja variation and some characters have drastically different play styles with their third variation
 

Marlow

Premium
Premium Supporter
Players choose the same variation 90% of the time.
I don't think variations are always about having 2-3 differently optimized versions of a character. Sometimes it's just about giving someone that choice or creativity to play a character a different way. From a purely competitive standpoint variations probably aren't going to work the way you want them to, but that doesn't mean they don't offer some value.