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How would you change MK9 in a potential remaster?

IlluvialCE

Ruler of the Skies
A lot of people are starting to think that MK9 really will get a rollback remaster soon due to a couple tweets over the past year or so from Ed Boon himself. While that would be great and all, I can't help but wonder how long a modern release of MK9 would last in the modern day. People just don't have the patience for games that are as broken/unbalanced as MK9 and unfortunately MK9 has been a beloved title that has been dissected and explored to its very core.

Because of this, I think it isn't all that controversial to say that a remaster release would probably have to bring along some changes/fixes to really reignite the larger community around it long term. Stuff like input bugs, P1 advantage and random block advantage are things that certainly need to be addressed above all else, but what about the core mechanics or character specific changes? While I really don't enjoy the idea of nuking any characters from orbit or drastically buffing lower tiers (sans Sheeva cause yeesh) I think tightening up some characters to make MUs less polarizing and give the bottom 10-15 characters more of a chance to hang with the big kids would be absolutely worthwhile. Changes should be focused on retaining the freedom and sense of expression that MK9 has while simply rounding out all of the numerous rough edges that the game has. I know projects like MK9 TE have sought to change balancing of the game, but as I have never played that version I'm unsure what the goal of those changes were or how effective they are at achieving what they set out to do.

For example, I'd like specific restands like Cage's to offer a bit less advantage. Restands are already super valued in this game due to the wakeup system actually being fairly good for the player waking up so reducing some of the more crazy examples of characters being able to endlessly mix and restand characters to give them less and less options to escape their already godlike pressure. I'd also like to see the damage scaling on X-Rays adjusted somewhat. I'm not sure what the formula for combo scaling is in this game so I won't give an exact number, but a nudge in the direction of them not being useless as combo enders would be nice.

I have never played the game extensively, in fact outside of a few months back in high school I would say that almost all of my time with this game has been spent rediscovering and falling in love with it over the past few weeks. I say this to highlight that I have no idea how A would affect B, C or D in terms of balancing and I certainly am not able to offer a high level opinion on things.

I play Sub Zero, so I'll just highlight some changes for him specifically. Mostly focusing on general QoL.

1 - Changed to 14 frame startup instead of 16
D1 - 0 on hit instead of -3 and -10 on block instead of -14
Iceball - Does 2% of chip on block instead of 0
EX Ice Puddle - Regains OTG property from launch era of game but does not freeze for combo on OTG, instead restanding and dealing 5% damage
Icebeam - Does 3.5% of chip on block
Clone + EX Clone - Change recovery from 38 frames to 30
EX Clone - Armor granted on use until recovery

Edit: Updated my proposed Sub Zero changes
 
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REO

Undead
MK9 will get absolutely torn to shreds and obliterated by the modern and new FGC culture / NRS community. I don't see the game surviving for more than a month if NRS releases a remaster of MK9 without everyone demanding immediate and major patch changes to the game. Reddit, Twitter, Discord, and all other major outlets will have a field day trashing this game and picking apart it's flaws.


  • People are going to cry non stop about 90% of the roster being unviable and not having what it takes to win major tournaments
  • The game at the highest level boils down to about five viable characters, give or take a couple
  • Counterpicking was way too easy to enforce
  • Hitbox issues, bizarre glitches, and poorly implemented system bugs are in abundance
  • Absolutely irritating play styles are present and in full force. I'm talking about the play styles that the majority do not get down with, ie. (Insane silly zoning, extremely braindead offense, characters that live in the air 24/7 and jump that cannot be touched by many characters in match ups, wake-ups that have almost zero counterplay, 1 Bar Hyper-Armor attacks that take 40% of your life that are readily available at almost all times, etc. etc.)
  • Risk reward is completely screwed and makes no sense for some characters
  • Random frame advantage on attacks like Cage's F+3
  • Some moves are minus on hit for absolutely no reason
  • Mass low profiling seeps through the game
  • Lots of 2-8 and 1-9 match-ups
  • Invincible wake-ups being available 24/7 which means some characters can never be properly oki'd
  • Combo inconsistencies on some characters
  • Lots of Mids that aren't actual mids and whiff on half of the cast
  • Etc. etc. etc.

I can go on and on about the games issues but I'll leave it there. I'm not sure why Ed Boon is entertaining the idea of an MK9 remaster. While I would appreciate it because MK9 is my favorite NRS game, this is not going to "save" the community and bring everybody together as one happy group where everything all of a sudden becomes fine just because we all moved on from MK11. People think the outcry is bad now with MK11 balance, but I promise it will be worse when a lot of people feel they are forced to play a modernized version of MK9 that all of their friends are on, and now they have to deal with all of the BS that plagued the game. You want to play Jade? Sorry, that isn't possible in this game. You want to play your favorite character Liu Kang? Sorry he gets easily counterpicked in 2-8 match ups against characters like Kenshi that require no effort to do so in the match up. You're tired of losing to Kabal and want to counterpick him? Too bad. That doesn't exist. Etc.

I think the only way for NRS to save face from all of the harsh critique on this MK9 remaster is they would have to essentially "remake" the game from the ground up and change all of the balance, most of the game mechanics, fix the countless bugs, introduce GGPO, a fleshed out Ranked system, rebuild the entire training mode, etc. etc. Basically they would have to almost make a brand new game. And at that point, it will be so much different from the original MK9, why not just focus on making MK12 that "perfect" fighting game that so many players want?

I'll definitely buy the MK9 remaster if it's true. But I'm for sure going to be bracing myself for the shit storm that is going to come if the game resembles anything close to the original MK9 product.
 

xenogorgeous

Mileena is the best, Mileena 4ever !
Premium Supporter
yep, good question

it's not enough only bring the game back with upgraded graphics, textures and superior framerates

a lot of issues from past must be fixed as well

if I remember well, even with all patches released and aplied so far on MK9 original version in that back time, characters like Cyrax still had combos with more than 100% health bar damage, and Kabal had that insane plus frame nomad dash tricks that was very boring to watch in competitive level, so, shit like this is a must mandatory stuff for NRS to get rid off with

so, a huge revised balance work focused on gameplay is necessary to make the remaster a viable version much better than the original one ;)

anyway, is a day one buy , if , in fact, this just come out as the real deal , and the rumours are not another internet troll bullshit or end up being another package of blatant lies coming from reddit and 4chan sources, hehe :D
 

Marinjuana

Up rock incoming, ETA 5 minutes
1. New NRS Netcode.

2. Buffed training mode with accurate damage info like in MK9:TE and frame data showing.

3. Find a way to resolve Player 1 advantage and touch up any other blatantly bad bugs.

But I don't imagine they would do all that work on a remaster and not touch the gameplay in a major way.
 

Second Saint

A man with too many names.
I wouldn't do much at all, if I'm being honest. Sure, give it rollback, update the graphics, maybe fix stuff like player 1 advantage, and overhaul the training mode. I wouldn't touch character balance at all. The game is a product of it's time, and it should be remembered that way.


Could you imagine if they had tried to make 3rd Strike balanced in a remaster? Or any other busted fighting game from the arcade era? They just wouldn't be the same games, and I don't think that's the point of a remaster.
 

IlluvialCE

Ruler of the Skies
I wouldn't do much at all, if I'm being honest. Sure, give it rollback, update the graphics, maybe fix stuff like player 1 advantage, and overhaul the training mode. I wouldn't touch character balance at all. The game is a product of it's time, and it should be remembered that way.


Could you imagine if they had tried to make 3rd Strike balanced in a remaster? Or any other busted fighting game from the arcade era? They just wouldn't be the same games, and I don't think that's the point of a remaster.
That's definitely a fair view, but I also don't see why that has to be the case. I think of it in terms of Street Fighter 2 having its HD Remix version or Guilty Gear Accent Core having +R. Players can choose which version to play and the community would inevitably decide which version it wanted to take forward, if any. Of course I'm more welcoming of that change but I'd also have to stress that the change I want would need to be more granular. I wouldn't want the Top 10 characters to stop being the Top 10 characters (Though if Kenshi and Kruger had their legs chopped off I doubt few would complain) and I wouldn't even necessarily want the bottom 10 to no longer be the bottom 10. Just a little less polarity in a hypothetical MU chart and some adjustments to the uber top tiers that oppressed almost the entire cast and the bottom characters that just got bullied.

But yea, to get back to the point I can definitely appreciate not wanting to change anything outside of bugs. I guess a different way to put it is that I'd want the changes to feel like something the devs totally would have done if given the time and resources. But if they did take the "Straight remaster, no substantive changes route" for the release, UMK3+ is the absolute shining example of how to do it properly. Fixes all major bugs, nothing much else

Stages were even unbalanced. It would need a hell of an overhaul to be deemed "competitive" in this era, I still love it to death...but it would need basically an overhaul.
I don't think the goal should be to make it a competitive game for the modern day. Modernizing the game should never be the goal. Like I said earlier in this comment I'd like the goal of any changes - assuming there would even be any - to be simply adjusting things in such a way that it feels like what the devs would have done back in the day if they did get a couple extra patches to adjust characters a bit further.
 

MuMuGuy

Noob
Mortal Kombat (2011) is too fundamentally broken to be salvaged. The poor balance, plethora of hit/hurtbox issues, glitches, etc. make the game leftover ass.
 

IlluvialCE

Ruler of the Skies
Mortal Kombat (2011) is too fundamentally broken to be salvaged. The poor balance, plethora of hit/hurtbox issues, glitches, etc. make the game leftover ass.
People know all of that, even the avid fans/defenders of the game. But we can at least take that pile of trash and spray some Febreze on it. Maybe trick out the trash can with some stickers. A lot of fighting games are very flawed and broken, that doesn't mean they aren't great in their own respects or couldn't be improved in a noticeable way.
 

Zviko

Noob
I wouldn't make a single change. Stop supporting remasters/remakes. They are nothing but cash grabs with potential to be a disaster, ruined reputation and nostalgia. Great games are better left just like they were because that's what made them such.
 

Revy

★ Two-Hands ★ Retired ★
I personally wouldn't change anything besides the netcode, the training room & modernize KOTH.

If there was a going to be a remaster, I'd rather them add things to it to allow it to breath a bit of new life like add new characters like Hydro, Erron Black, D'Vorah, Tanya, Tremor, Cyber-Smoke, C/Khameleon, add new guest characters, make boss characters balanced and playable. Add more retro costumes (MK3 Sonya) & modern skins (Cassie as Sonya).
 
If this game comes out just remastered, without any balances and otehr changes, it's going to be the biggest shitstorm in Mortal Kombtat history. Only oldschool fans will enjoy it, and maybe not even all of them. The game would need a ridiculous amount of work if they would want to rebalance it, and that would for sure not be a priority. Plus the most likely needed future patching. Also, I'm torn myself, would I enjoy the shitstorm, or become even sadder that a game with such good potential would get trashed again.
 

IlluvialCE

Ruler of the Skies
If this game comes out just remastered, without any balances and otehr changes, it's going to be the biggest shitstorm in Mortal Kombtat history. Only oldschool fans will enjoy it, and maybe not even all of them. The game would need a ridiculous amount of work if they would want to rebalance it, and that would for sure not be a priority. Plus the most likely needed future patching. Also, I'm torn myself, would I enjoy the shitstorm, or become even sadder that a game with such good potential would get trashed again.
Aiming for modern-era balance is a fools errand. It'd be best to just tighten the screws a bit and just make the bad characters slightly more functional and the top tiers slightly less oppressive. No need to reinvent the wheel cause every character being absolutely busted in one way or another is part of MK9's charm and appeal.
 

John Grizzly

The axe that clears the forest
If this game comes out just remastered, without any balances and otehr changes, it's going to be the biggest shitstorm in Mortal Kombtat history.
Nah, MK11 was/is the biggest shit storm.

People know what they're getting with an MK9 remaster. Everyone can shit on the balance all they want, but the game is still fun to this day. Updated graphics with good netcode and some bug fixes would be more than enough for me, personally. People can call it a cash grab if they want, but I'd be happy for NRS to grab my cash when it comes to this.
 

GLoRToR

Positive Poster!
Netcode
P1 Advantage and everything else that was wrong with the game
Nerf top 15 buff bottom 15
idk the game in itself is amazing and fun but the issues are plenty
 

Arqwart

Resident "Subhuman Piece of Trash" Edenian Player
Assuming no changes aside from modern netcode, the game would have a crazy popular honeymoon period followed instantly by a massive drop in playerbase. REO's listing is spot on for how the game would be absolutely reviled after a while. A massive balance patch along with the release could work, but then there's the issue where purists would be unsatisfied with an MK9 remaster that had any balance changes done. IF NRS decides to do a remaster of MK9, they'd have to choose a lane: preserving the original game (save for things like netcode) or bringing the older game into the modern fighting game scene with a gameplay overhaul. Both ideas would alienate lots of people.

I'd have my fan combos back either with or without balance changes so I don't really care either way. I also don't play at a pro level so I'm not expecting to run into REO-level Kabals in online ranked.
 

Wrenchfarm

Lexcorp Proprietary Technologies
It's a no-win situation.

Release it with no balance changes as it was at the end of it's life span and the game will be dead in two weeks. For as much as old heads love to talk it up, MK9 was busted in a way people won't put up with now.

Release it with balance changes and certain segments of the MK fanbase will never let them live it down. "You took a perfect game, and you trashed it!" "NRS couldn't just disappoint us with bad new games, they had to ruin the old ones!" and so on. And unfortunately, these predictable negative voices are loud enough that the whole scene will be a bummer.

And we also have to consider the purpose of a remaster. Is it to preserve the gameplay as intended for a new generation with just a layer of graphical polish? Or is it a chance for game devs to correct past mistakes and re-imagine the game? Lots of people hold different opinions here and you're not going to please them all.

I'd rather see NRS put their time and energy into either making MK11 better, making a new title, or reMAKING an old title like Shaolin Monks that never got as much love as it should have.
 

Revy

★ Two-Hands ★ Retired ★
Not this again...
What’s wrong with Hydro? Twin katanas, water powers cold enough to freeze people then became a cyborg in MKL. Sounds badass to me. I’ve wanted him since I was little when I read my older brother’s Mortal Kombat: Blood & Thunder comics where he was present with Bi-Han during the first tournament.

Also I mentioned him not only because I think he’s cool but also he can be an easy character to put in just by rehashing moves & design while making a fun character in the end. The same thing can be done to Cyber-Smoke.
 

Second Saint

A man with too many names.
Ok, so would it be possible to update game balance, while also keeping the original? For example, couldn't you pick multiple iterations of the same character in some Streetfighter games?

What if there was something like that, where modern and classic versions are in the same game, maybe separated by whatever mode you choose. It'd be a ton of effort, but that's probably the only way to not piss off a really significant amount of people.
 

Marlow

Premium Supporter
Premium Supporter
And we also have to consider the purpose of a remaster. Is it to preserve the gameplay as intended for a new generation with just a layer of graphical polish? Or is it a chance for game devs to correct past mistakes and re-imagine the game?
That's a great question.
 

Pizza

Thrill Kill
What’s wrong with Hydro? Twin katanas, water powers cold enough to freeze people then became a cyborg in MKL. Sounds badass to me. I’ve wanted him since I was little when I read my older brother’s Mortal Kombat: Blood & Thunder comics where he was present with Bi-Han during the first tournament.

Also I mentioned him not only because I think he’s cool but also he can be an easy character to put in just by rehashing moves & design while making a fun character in the end. The same thing can be done to Cyber-Smoke.
He doesn't sound too exciting to me, but that's fine! It's just my opinion.

My problem is that everytime I see Hydro mentioned I remember this:




Sorry, I cannot unsee it lmao