NRS/WB should bring back the Variation System for MK11 - Here's Why

Discussion in 'Mortal Kombat XL' started by Roy Arkon, Aug 29, 2017.


Should MK11 get the Variations System from MKX?

  1. Yes

    78 vote(s)
  2. No

    96 vote(s)
  1. Roy Arkon

    Roy Arkon Noob

    I know that some people will harshly disagree with this, and some might say that this topic is overdone, but please hear me out on this one.

    I love MKX, IJ2 is a hell of an awesome game, but MKX is still for me the best game NRS has done so far overall. One of the things that love about MKX is of course, the Variation system, that's because it gave MKX one thing that almost no other fighting game has ever gave:

    Character gameplan options.

    When you wanna play a fighting game on a high level, but you wanna play a certain character simply because you like that character, you might come into issues such as balance and the character viability potential, but even if all of those issues are out of the picture, you might still have one more issue: that character's overall gameplan. You might think this character is gonna be an easy-to-use character only to find out it a very execution-heavy one, or you might looking for a Rushdown character and what you get at the end is a pure Zoning character. So then the you need to either suck it up and go with what you got and make the best of it, or go to another character that you don't like as much, but will be more suitable to you gameplan wise.

    That's where the Variation system in MKX is coming to play (no pun intended). Since each character in the game has 3 Variations, some with minor changes between each and some with drastic ones, it is so much easier to pick the one Variation that you find the most suitable for you to play for your character of choice, and even if you wanna counter-pick to a different character, you can pick your preferred Variation of that character and have a roster of only the Variations that you like the most, or you if you think it's good for you, you can just play all 3 Variations of the same character and cover all of the MU's for that character. IJ2, on the other hand, does bring the Gear-specific moves with which you can alter the moveset of character, but it's not legal in competitive play and it's only good for the casual players, so if you wanna play with a certain character you have to stick to it's core moveset, and if you can't, then you're shit out of luck. But in MKX, since all of the Variations are set to specific movesets, all of them are still in the confines of the competitive play, so both casuals and competitive can enjoy them for their fullest.

    For example, I am a Noxious Reptile player in MKX, that's because Noxious allowed me to play Reptile the way I wanted to play him, as that Variation allows you to keep Reptile's universal Zoning and Anti-Zoning without giving up on his Variation-specific tool and still have a much more simplistic gameplan overall (while also still having up-close game of course). That's why I stuck to Noxious 99%, and barely touched either Nimble or Deceptive. But in IJ2, I started with Poison Ivy, and aside from the fact that she might be the hardest character to use in IJ2, I'm still not 100% sure if you can call her a Zoning character or a hybrid character that leans more to Zoning, and if what she does is indeed Zoning, this is not the kind of Zoning that I would like to use. So I had to switch to Sub-Zero (just because I can make him look like Reptile) and Starfire (my counter-pick character, also because she is might the closet character to Reptile gameplan-wise). Of course that having 3 Variations per character might still not be enough for some people, but this is much more preferred then just having to find a way around just one Variation.

    A lot of people will now bring up that it was very hard to balance the game because of this, as each Variation is essentially a character in it's own right, and according to some people on TYM, even Paulo said that it was very hard to balance. That's very understandable, but there is a solution: Instead of having 3 Variations per character, you can have just 2. That way, not only it will be easier to balance the game, but you will have more room for different characters then what MKX or IJ2 have. Also, this can also lead to some really cool stuff, like having some Variations specific Fatalities or even, for the first time ever, Variations specific X-Rays, each with their own animations and properties, for example, one X-Ray being a traditional grounded mid hitting X-Ray, and the other can only be done in the air and it hits overhead.

    And just in case you were wondering, I think they should also bring the IJ2 customization options as well, but only on the aesthetic department, and without the whole stats thing, that isn't necessary.

    So that's my reasoning for why the Variations system should comeback for MK11. After listing this, I would like to know what you guys think :)
  2. Dankster Morgan

    Dankster Morgan Good luck getting through the shell

    Why they shouldn't: it fucks over characters who have a really powerful variation tool kit and their base moves have to be neutered as a result. It makes them hard as shit to balance. See Sub-Zero, Predator, Erron Black, Triborg.

    Why they should: some characters with a great base tool kit and have some fun changes between variations adds a lot of fun and depth to the character and because they are built on a strong base, they can have variations be effective. See Mileena, Reptile, Cassie, Quan Chi.

    Overall I'd prefer no variations but I'm glad MKX had them because it was still a cool little stamp to put on. Like Mournful mains wouldn't have had anything close to that because a no variation Kitana would have likely just been a derivative of Royal Storm.
  3. neveradestroyer

    neveradestroyer Tier hero... lowest tier amazing player.

    MKX variations are fun... Just look at lackey and No variation Ferra-Thor. They can get so different from the base form that is hilarious to see.. Maybe a variation of 2 can be more easily being balanced that 3 of a kind. But I loved that content... In short... Variations are fun.;););)
    KingKhrystopher, Jelan and Roy Arkon like this.


    I'm of the opinion that the variation system did more good than bad for MKX, by the final patch every single character in the game was viable in at least one variation. And also gave us takes on characters we would never get to see under the confines of a one size fits all playing field such as Stunt Double Cage, Spectral Ermac, Dualist Liu Kang, Special Forces Sonya etc.

    However it should be stressed that it was very rare that characters had 3 good/useful variations, and even the ones that did they weren't very complimentary for each other on a matchup basis (Kotal for example was always pretty solid in Sun God and War God but their matchups largely played out the same way for the same reasons)

    I think the variation system can be refined by going with a 2 variation system that has both be drastically different takes on a character that play as unlike each other as possible (this would also prevent changes to base tools aimed towards one variation that has inadvertent side effects on another such as Warlock Quan Chi), but I don't think NRS and/or WB would see this as being very marketable. And what they see as what is the most marketable assets for MK11 is ultimately up to them.

    I hope I'm wrong about the last part but time will tell.

    Also inb4 we hear the age old "Paulo said the variation system was a mistake in a stream chat that I can't remember" citations.
  5. Zoidberg747

    Zoidberg747 They see me teleportin', they hatin'

    I'd rather them move it down to two variations than three, I thought three was too much.
    JontyHar23, Darth-Nero, Koor and 13 others like this.
  6. ChaosTheory

    ChaosTheory A fat woman came into the shoe store today...

    I like the idea, it's just a matter of execution.

    I think I prefer the idea of subtle differences. We know even one move can make a big difference in a match-up. But is it interesting enough for the masses?

    You don't want to limit interesting ideas, but you also don't want to overdo a character. Like HQT Predator was the crazy zoning variation... and the crazy rush-down variation.
    Kooron Nation likes this.
  7. RexxyC

    RexxyC what's done is done

    I don't think so, they should go back to a single move set and refine animation quality, add more stages, and more characters. MKX was a jank-fest.


    RexxxyC needs some Rain and chill in his life smh lmao
  9. Linkuei82

    Linkuei82 Live by the sword, Die by the sword
    Premium Supporter

    It was fun while it lasted, but no. I seen more negatives then positive with the variation system.

    I rather they go off MK9 engine and polish it from what they learn from the last 3 games.
  10. Flamelurkr

    Flamelurkr Noob

    Its a completely new mechanic. If you notice how well nrs has learned to balance in the inj2, then I see no reason to believe the system will be the same or worse. Obviously not every character can compete at a high level and that has to be understood.

    If you take inj2's balance and added it to mkx then instead of the character carousel matches we see now, you'll see people being able to deal with mu's through variation. I think character loyalists deserve a fighting chance and this system allows it. I hope it stays because I only see it getting better.
    Jelan, Generalbit and Roy Arkon like this.
  11. Pakman

    Pakman Lawless Victory!

    I'd rather they stick to just one version of each character and actually design them better.

    Getting real tired of some characters getting far too many good tools and some characters not getting quite enough (for as far as I can tell, no particular reason at all) in NRS games...

    Fingers and toes crossed for MK11!
    Darth-Nero and Espio like this.
  12. Saboteur-6

    Saboteur-6 Filthy Casual

    NRS had too hard of a time keeping all the variations balanced. Gear moves in INJ2 work because they exist outside of the competitive meta.
    ChoseDeath and hatyr like this.
  13. Jhonnykiller45

    Jhonnykiller45 Shirai Ryu

    Regardless of how the community feels about them I don't think variations are coming back.
  14. Damaja325

    Damaja325 Stylin' & Low Profilin'

    i liked variations a lot actually. if they come back then i think 2 variants per character would be best for the sake of balancing.
    KingKhrystopher and Generalbit like this.
  15. RexxyC

    RexxyC what's done is done

    why are we bringing this back, RIP
  16. Doctor Angel

    Doctor Angel Founder Of The Advent Kombat Alliance.
    Premium Supporter


    If my hopes are validated, it'll be Armageddon style dual martial arts/weapon based.

    IF, the whole MK reboot is based on Raiden changing the timeline.
    But he didn't change it enough to invalidate all the stuff yet to come.
    Except now, instead of Quan Chi and Shang Tsung, you get Liu Kang and Kitana.
    You still gotta deal with Onaga. Shujinko. Havik. Reiko.
    The whole Blaze Prophecy. Daegon and the Red Dragon.
    If Kung Lao and Kung Jin are gonna be a team, it stands to reason Kabal will do his thing and resurrect the Black Dragon.
    Shang Tsung maybe comes back from death? Like Liu did in Deception?

    Give all that shit its original feel.
    Give Ermac his stone axe back.
    Chess Kombat.
    Stance Chain Kombos.

    So many possibilities.
    NRS, give me a job, I'll write you this game in a fortnight.
    Generalbit likes this.
  17. EntropicByDesign

    EntropicByDesign Confused and afraid.

    I wonder if a combination of Inj2's extra move slots and MKx's variations would be as interesting in practice as in theory..

    You have two variations for each character and a set of universal moves you can slot in. Two slots. Some moves are just flat out additional moves, some augment or replace existing moves, somr.may even have effects strong enough to take up both slots. The difference though is these moves are designed from the start to balanced and competitively viable, and are all available right away. This would let you really customize your character and tailor it to suit your needs and the MU at hand.

    Balance would be a butthole, but FG devs in general are really getting better at this whole balance thing, and I feel like its a system that could be balanced within reason.

    As for the tournament side of things, you pick a character and a variation and you have 15s or something to pick your skills.

    Shrug. Just think out loud.

    You could even take a different approach and have 2-3 variations and the two slots for skills bring universal buffs/skills/abilities.. so the two skills you slot aren't character unique, but rather part of a large pool available to everyone. You could have something like a slottable air escape, or maybr a passive buff that builds extra meter when you block s projectile or blah blah. Shrug.
    Helter Skelter likes this.
  18. RevetLeafing

    RevetLeafing Tanya, Tanqui, and Kaprisun Specialist

    I loved having 3 variations to switch to from time to time. Competitively and casually. It made the game more interesting and hype when those "lesser used" variations are used in tourney.

    I really hope that there aren't gear moves in MK11, i'm praying.
  19. buyacushun

    buyacushun Normalize grab immunity.

    I'd prefer id variations didn't come back but if they did make it only 2. And if they did I'd like none to be as basic as reptile. And some I'd love to see changed more than just a button or two like bojustu and some others that got only one new string to differentiate them. Also don't just balance the base character but balance per variation.

    Basicaply if it does come back - and I hope it doesn't - I'd like there to be more refinement and a specific ruleset on how their designed and balanced.

    But I have a different preposition. I think NRS should start using multiple resources and not just meter. I don't know if they should bring back stamina but I'm talking like a different meter you can gain and use. Like SFV V-trigger and BB with barrier.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  20. MrArcher15

    MrArcher15 Noob

    No I want all of my characters moveset available to me from the character select screen like mk9
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
  21. Roy Arkon

    Roy Arkon Noob

    Reptile's Variations had only one unique move per Variation but each Variation offered something unique. Noxious was more balanced between Rushdown and Zoning with both Chip damage pressure, Nimble was more about the high damage combos and plus pressure, and Deceptive was all about plus pressure but wilh less execution. That's in a nutshell.

    But yeah if the Variations do come back it should be 2 per character.
    tafka Djinn and Hara-Killer like this.
  22. dribirut

    dribirut BLAK FELOW

    I think it was awesome and it should definitely be in mk11. Essentially we had 90 plus characters.

    Also by the final patch, the balance was even better than the current i2 imo.

    I remember counting and there was over 40 different variations represented in top 8s after the final patch..
  23. Jaku2011

    Jaku2011 Filled with determination

    Sure just never bring gear moves back ever again.
  24. Eddy Wang

    Eddy Wang Skarlet scientist

    Variation system is a headache to balance, i honestly don't want it back, just repeating myself here.

    Not only limited ourselves to a specific numbers of characters we could learn, it also made MU charts and all of the sorts extremely dificult, there were too many variables withing the variation system and this didn't necessarily made the bad variations good down the line, Inferno Scorpion will always going to be bad, same as Hat Trick or any other character who had that variation who was just bad at its core because ppl rarely played.

    It also made Paulo hard to track which variations were in need of help because those weren't always with enough data on them, or prestige enough to help some of these variations.

    I would easily discard the variation system if that meant that for each new variation could easily be replaced by a character who should have been in the roster. So easily no to variations.
    ShotgunInsanity and Shaka like this.
  25. Generalbit

    Generalbit The blade of osh-tekk is stale.

    I want variations because sometimes I want the blade of osh-tekk, other times I just wanna put people on their knees.
    Raiderhorn, Shaka, Levaranoia and 3 others like this.

Share This Page