The State of the NRS Scene: Warrior Shrine Off-Season

Discussion in 'Podcasts, Shows & Archives' started by Charybdis, Jul 3, 2018.

By Charybdis on Jul 3, 2018 at 2:18 PM
  1. Charybdis

    Charybdis We are returned! Death to the False Emperor!
    News Editor

    It’s something of a trying time for the NRS scene at present. With no upcoming game on the horizon and with people feeling hugely uninvested in Injustice 2, in conjunction with a groundswell of interest in other fighting games, the NRS community is feeling sparser than ever before.

    Pictured: the expected audience for Injustice 2 at Evo.

    This is partially just a confluence of events. Netherrealm elected to break their cycle, though to what degree is as of yet unknown, at a time when interest in Injustice 2 has waned almost as much as interest in Injustice Gods Among Us waned towards the end of it’s second year, when the community latched onto the cycle on a scale never seen before and hyped up the potential reveal of MK11 accordingly. What’s more, they have done so when the first major new competitor on the fighting game scene since Killer Instinct has emerged in DBFZ, with SFV bringing out fresh characters (including fan favourites like Cody) and striking up partnerships with the likes of Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes, Tekken reaching new markets and success not seen since Tekken3 with Tekken7 and with one of the most beloved fighting franchises of all time makes a grand reappearance in Soul Calibur VI. And DOA coming back too, if you just can’t get enough jiggle physics in your life.

    It is, in short, an incredibly packed time in the fighting game community and, even if the scene will grow even more than usual because of this bevy of content, there is a hard limit on the amount of games people can play and most people don’t travel to tournaments. Even among high level players, a very select group of players have found top level success across multiple franchises, with Sonic the only current example (and by his own admission, his consistency in the NRS scene has suffered due to his commitment to DBFZ). With that in mind, it might turn out to be a wise move, in hindsight, for NRS to delay MK11 until there’s a sufficient gap in the wider market and fatigue with other games to bring even greater attention to MK11.

    But it has to be acknowledged that the sparseness, stagnation and inertia which currently characterises the NRS scene is of the making of the NRS scene. NRS players are notorious for moving on from game to game rapidly, dropping interest in a new game after barely a year and pining for the next release, even if top players stay absurdly sharp in the older games as witnessed at the recent Combo Breaker MK9 tournament. NRS players tend to not invest the sheer amount of time into characters as do other players, by sheer virtue of the fact that we know that within 24 months the game will be essentially forgotten and the scene will be, if not dead, then on life support, within 12 months.

    This is especially unfortunate with regards to Injustice 2. I may address this in a fuller piece soon, but Injustice 2 really is a phenomenal game. With the exception of Starfire and Black Adam, no match up in the game feels particularly unbalanced and no character really disrupts the game. It is by far the most balanced NRS game and one of the most balanced fighting games ever, with a near endless amount of content, a bevy of features, gorgeous graphics and a near ideal DC roster (where’s my Zod, Nightwing, Grundy and Constantine tho?)

    Someday. Someday.

    Moreover, the support from NRS and eLeague for Injustice 2 is borderline unprecedented in the entirety of the FGC, with incredible amounts of money on the line for the top players.

    All of this is addressed by @Temp and @JangoGMs in the latest Warrior Shrine and, even if you aren’t a fan of the Netherkast’s usual stuff for whatever reason, you owe it to yourself to listen to this one. It's a really fantastic appraisal of the current NRS scene, with analysis of the impact Netherrealm has on the fans and the fans on the Netherrealm, the current state of Injustice 2, how the NRS scene has developed and it's potential future and more. It's as good a discussion and dissection of the NRS scene as you're ever likely to hear.

    With a caveat: unless you’re into Mega Man you can skip like fifteen minutes from 15-30 minutes and the last half hour or so is Temp desperately trying to convince you that DOA is about more than jiggle physics, fan service and beach volleyball. He’s wrong and I shall now forever judge him not as a good man, very well versed in philosophy, of both fighting games and Soren Kierkegaard in particular and with a well above average taste in music, but as a DOA fan. This saddens me.

    I’m not linking a DOA related picture because I’m at work and that shit just ain’t going down

    As always, check back to TYM everyday for all the latest discussion on the NRS scene, both competitive and lore-based, and all the latest news on Injustice 2 and the Mortal Kombat series!
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
    MKF30, Psyren136, HeavyNorse and 5 others like this.
Staff writer, news editor and token European on the TYM news team.
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Discussion in 'Podcasts, Shows & Archives' started by Charybdis, Jul 3, 2018.

    1. Cursa
      It's because IJ2 spammersamongus is the shittiest fighting game I've ever played in my life. Like Superman F23F23F23F23F23 block infinite, Starfire/Fate pewpew cachoo, Deadshot still is top 1 in the game and Tridentman is ridiculous. Also Flash is still bottom 3 and rushdown characters are just useless in the game because of all the 'zoning'
      jcbowie, TyCarter35, John_NX and 4 others like this.
    2. trufenix
      It's tradition. NRS should've known we couldn't handle playing a well balanced game longer than a year. They doomed us all. By this time next february there won't even be an NRS scene. Just a bunch of guys who play i2 and MKX KOTH on our streams during majors so it seems like we're there.
      Marinjuana likes this.
    3. Jhonnykiller45
      What are you saying? A balanced game is what everyone (at least apparently) yearned for. With years of gameplay balancing being labeled as one of NRS' biggest flaws, how could they have known this would happen?
      But then again, MK9 is considered one of their best and most beloved games despite the fucked up balance and nearly game-breaking bugs present so what do I even know.
      Eddy Wang, Marinjuana and Cursa like this.
    4. Eldriken
      Hopefully a lesson has been learned. Balanced doesn't always mean fun. I don't mean that players should yearn for an absolutely broken mess of a game to have fun, however. Broken games can be just as, if not more unfun than a balanced game.

      I just hope the next NRS game is more balanced than Injustice 2 but with less boring shit to watch/take part in.
    5. KingHippo
      I do want to point out that Slips' and my assessment on where the population for TYM went wasn't just due to moderation; we acknowledged it was a multifaceted issue that included other social media outlets where they could construct a more pleasurable viewing and communicative experience.

      As to your point about viewership, I have always thought (and still think) that the NRS scene is the only competitive (notice I didn't say casual, they will always hate on this fact) community that treats character repeats as if it's the devil incarnate, especially after a year +. Competitive games will always whittle down to a few really strong characters that will always be played, especially now when that select group of elite players have a chance to earn real, life-changing amounts of dollars.

      The bigger problem, in my mind, is that I think there's an inherent pressure to go along with the groupthink that comes with these social circles that involve top players, so what you will see a lot of times is people, often "top" players, airing grievances they've heard but have no real context or basis for. This leads to the talking point then being that Injustice 2 is "bad" in the sense that it doesn't allow "smart" play, and the only skill in it is counter-picking, which is a ludicrous argument.

      You'll never hear an argument from me that the game doesn't have flaws that will never be addressed, and that those flaws will certainly alienate types of players from ever enjoying the game. That said, I think when the argument becomes less of ^ that type of reasoning, and more that the game is just generally poor and takes no thought to be good at, then all you do is make the people who could be sucked into it curious as to why anyone would bother playing it. For money? That will effect like 2% of the playerbase, tops. The same thing happened to MKX, which suffered a lot from players of influence heavily implying that the game didn't take skill to be good at and was just an [insert generalization]-fest and therefore "not hype," because you couldn't tell who was good and who wasn't.

      All that being said, I do think the point about there not being enough players to see a lot of character loyalists rise out of the woodworks is a good point that I hadn't really thought about before. So thank you for that insight!
    6. Cursa
      Honestly I just don't think IJ2 is a very newcomer friendly fighter game since there a very straightforward strategies to beating new players that are also actually strong strategies in the game (Although the level of play changes how 'easy' they are)

      And it's also just not very enjoyable to watch, play, or play against for a good chunk of new players, and it kinda shunts them away from wanting to play it everyday.

      IMO I like IJ2 more than MKX, even though I played and enjoyed some aspects of MKX even more than IJ2 aspects, like the excecution threshold, but I'm not a huge fan of the whole sprint mechanic and the variation system, and it was refreshing to see some of the keepaway playstyles in IJ2. I think in the current state of the game it is really enjoyable to see people make comebacks as basically anyone but Flash. Like Forever King's comeback as Batman was insane when I was watching, just so much conditioning and respect being enforced by FK that really showed that he deserved that win.

      Or whatever people say about Superman F23 gameplan, I think some of the most satisfying moments in the game is when Supes has enforced that throw threat and eventually gets that read on a MB B3 in response to a throw tech and gets like 50% damage into a corner carry.

      I don't think the aspect of IJ2 being balanced has too much to do with it's lack of an audience in comparison to previous titles, I think it's just another reason to add to the list.

      I think IJ2's general ideal gameplan is the major one, just not very rushdown friendly, even at this state of the game, and very zoner and neutral heavy games that might not be very easy for new players to grasp on to, or want to commit to
      Rizz091 and Jhonnykiller45 like this.
    7. neveradestroyer
    8. Temp
      That's fair. It can even be said that over-moderation is just bad in of itself regardless of how it affected the future of the site. I guess what I should have said is that despite the moderation issues, I think the exit of most pro-players was inevitable.

      I mean, I partially agree with the last part. You're always gonna see Chun and Yun in Third Strike top 8's. You're always gonna see Sentinel and Magneto in MvC2 top 8's. However, it seems other communities are better at diversity than we are. Kazunoko's Yamcha just won CEO. Phenom just got top 3 with Necalli (who although isn't low-tier, he's been pretty much absent from top 16s for a good while). Jeondding just took 1st place at CEO with Eddie Gordo.

      To reiterate from the episode, I don't think it's the community's fault. There isn't enough people or talent to give rise to many low-tier heroes. We're still too small. I also don't wanna rob credit from people like Deoxys, ForeverKing Jr, and Buffalo who are all killing it with non-traditional characters. However, we're still in deep shit. Our numbers at Evo aren't great, and it doesn't seem like we're gaining any momentum in growth (quite the opposite, actually).

      My only solution is to make the games better out the gate, which is a shitty solution because it means it's now too late for IJ2. Injustice 2, IMO, is the best game NRS has ever made, but it took a long time to get the game to the balance that it's at. I hope I'm wrong, but my gut tells me it's too late to rebound.

      Also, I don't think reoccurring tournament characters are the devil incarnate, but I do think character diversity is the ideal. There are still echoes of Brady beating Forever King in MK9, or Tekken Master holding his ground in MKX grand finals against Fox's Alien. I don't think that thirst for a low-tier upset can ever go away, so we just gotta hope someone eventually makes it happen again.

      I agree. I have more to say, but my post is getting hella long.

      For me personally, I don't care for MKX, and I think that game died a deserving death. I don't wanna waste too much time explaining why, but I'll definitely say I feel differently about IJ2, which I think is genuinely a great game.

      When explaining why I don't play IJ2 anymore, the reason I gave on the show was that "It's not Tekken or SFV." Though that's true, it's not terribly informative. The previously mentioned games allow me to play footsies in a way that are interesting to me. I can't do that in Injustice 2 because the midrange is so damn dangerous. It's not just the zoning, either: forward-projecting strings, long-range interactables, and armored b+3s all contribute to this. Add things like character-specific air shenanigans and you start asking yourself, "what the fuck am I even doing here?"

      It takes a brave soul to walk forward in IJ2. It doesn't help that buttons are often very startup heavy in IJ2. I think the average chain starter is between 8-15 frames? You can't stay in the midrange long without having to commit to something, and I started getting tired of the chase. MK9 was clearly a more busted game, but it had cancelable dashes and strong D+4's for footsies. Even though the MK9 top tiers were more ridiculous, I felt like I could actually DO SOMETHING about it. I don't feel that way at all about IJ2.

      That doesn't make it a bad game, though. It's just different. I think non-NRS guys know this, too. However, much of the top 8's started to feel predictable. This is changing, but back in 2017, the predictability is a big part of why overly-used top tiers hurt viewership.

      Thank you for listening. It's good knowing that other voices in the community know we exist.

      Also, I really hope you and Slips stick with the new podcast. No one else is really doing the competitive NRS podcast thing, and this kind of show was needed for a really long time. The Warrior Shrine is kinda on it's own island. We lurked and sometimes posted on TYM, but for the most part, the Netherkast rose out of the ashes of MKO, so we never really had the rapport with the TYM community/top level players to fill the void that was left with KTP. The episodes are great, so please keep doing what you're doing.
    9. GLoRToR
      lol @ people bitching that now there is balance in an nrs game
      Dayvon likes this.
    10. Dogeofthesea
      Pick one people, rushdown of MKX or balance between different playstyles like Inj2, or just stop complaining.
      And if i remember correct, most of tournament champions since release of Inj2 play rushdown characters don't they?
      Rizz091 likes this.
    11. KingHippo
      We won't be going anywhere anytime soon. Both of us are booked for Evo and we recorded another episode tonight, so we're in for the long haul!

      I did wanna address this, though:

      I think that's the kind of weird and needless negativity Slips and I have been railing against. What is "deep shit?" 160 entrants at CEO? Sure, that's way down from 400 from last year, but last year it was a new game. NRS games have always had that significant drop-off, the community never stopped being small. "Deep shit," to me, is like saying a major, major tournament won't be running Injustice 2 due to lack of interest or something. Otherwise, that level of entrants isn't too far off from what MKXL was getting in year 2, and MK is arguably just more popular in general.

      I think sometimes there's always so much of a focus on why a game's entry is low, and there's just so many factors that are outside of just the game and its quality. Guilty Gear Xrd had about the same entrants as us, and that is a game with a long competitive history and dedicated fanbase too. It's also a weird game that pretty much only attracts diehards because it goes through revisions fairly quickly. Just like our game too! I'm not trying to rag on you for saying that, I just think that maybe sometimes we don't have to hit the panic button just because the numbers "appear" low, is all.
      CrimsonShadow, Temp and Cursa like this.
    12. Temp
      To me, it's more of a call-to-arms than a panic button. Though I don't practice the game anymore, I do want to see it succeed.

      Truthfully, I want most games to succeed. Seeing Marvel Infinite thrown in the garbage was beyond heartbreaking.
      CrimsonShadow likes this.
    13. GLoRToR
      Let's be honest: NRS has bottom tier 90's communications and they don't seem to be getting any better at it.

      "Omfg Boon posted a spoon so the next mk game will have Soupality" got old back in 2002 and it was already lame in 2012.

      We're sitting here holding our breath (well, you are, I'm not really) for nrs to toss a bone and tell us what next but all they said in an obscure interview is what's not next.

      They probably have enough money so they don't need any right now is all.
      Aramonde, The Slaj Jazz and Cursa like this.
    14. Marinjuana
      What do you want them to say? "Hey we're working on this game but we have don't have anything to show because it's not ready yet."
      Roy Arkon likes this.
    15. haketh
      Why noy just play the game & not worry about some silence that doesnt really mean anything? Thats always been the NRS Scene problem, everything has to be constantly “hyped” & shit flying out from NRS or else people start getting all gloom. Just play.
    16. GLoRToR
      Communication is not so one-track minded. The fact that you can only think in terms of news about a new game as the sole option proves that you're used to the wrong kind.

      neveradestroyer likes this.
    17. Marinjuana
      Cursa likes this.
    18. Cursa
      So many points.

      All so valid...

      So conflicted rn
    19. Eddy Wang
      Eddy Wang
      IMO, NRS should really take advantage of this time they don't have anything to show to re-invent themselves, put an actual though into a game that its going to be extremely addicting fundamentaly same way, MK9 and UMK3/Trilogy was, long range normals that are also string starters don't really go that well with NRS games.
      Afk Skinny and GLoRToR like this.
    20. Jynks
      this article is a bunch fo hyperbole, IJ2 is getting nearly as many entrants as it has ever got, has a full a new Championship Season, War of the Gods and the Pro-Circuit is just started. IJ2 is going strong.
    21. GLoRToR
      There is this huge issue with nrs games that there are characters who have everything and then specialist characters who struggle in a rock paper scissors way. I feel we need to step away from both and as you say, reinvent certain concepts. Zoning in itself is not irritating as long as it's not pre-patch Deadshot where you can't even move if you don't have some sort of counter tool.
      Similarly, extremely plus advancing armoured launchers leading to insane damage and resets and restand and literally no way to escape is just too much.
      Still, we're getting close to what's good and balanced. Whiners will whine.

      My point here, is that NRS is really bad at keeping in touch, though. Undeniable fact.
    22. Roy Arkon
      Roy Arkon
      You guys literally keep the common sense of this thread intact. This article is a joke, just like the thread that is attached to it due to all of the complainers in it like @GLoRToR , @Eddy Wang , and @Temp .

      NRS are the best when it comes to communicating to the fans, MKX isn't dead and even if it was it would not have been a deserving death at all, IJ2 is a fantastic game that is very beginner friendly just like all of the NRS games, balance and fun can go along, MKX and IJ2 are also very addicting and balanced games that are super fan to play, and IJ2 is still going strong in the tournament scene, that statement of "not going strong" should be reserved for MVCI, not IJ2.

      Just stop complaining and play the games, don't come to write articles and posts just because it is so much easier to do. And if you do wanna say something, at least keep your logic in check. You are not contributing anything useful by doing so, and if you're afraid so much of getting harassed by other complainers, tell them to fuck themselves and do what's actually good for the community and this site. Period.
      Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
      neveradestroyer and Jynks like this.
    23. Eddy Wang
      Eddy Wang
      There is a huge difference between constructive criticism to get better and complaining and dick riding.

      I'm not going to be opressed by a dick rider who accepts everything that its given, its through constructive criticism that NRS keeps improving and reaching new horizons, and then here it comes you Roy Arkon the derailer buthurt and complianing people that wants NRS to level up to remain still and become stale. Seriously go... see if i'm around the corner...
      GLoRToR likes this.
    24. Roy Arkon
      Roy Arkon
      That's the exact mentality that kills this community's reputation, you claim that by complaining on things that are not really a problem and blow them out of proportions is basically constructive criticism while in actually it is all just a cover-up story. I've never said that there are 0 flaws in NRS games, there is no game on the planet from any genre that is not without flaws, but you and the rest of your kind's true agenda is to keep cry and cry in order to get something out of NRS in terms of patches or simply just because it is a lot easier to do.

      Just this past weekend we had CEO, and just because Starfire was played by 4 players in top 8, even though she didn't end up winning the whole thing, people already jumped to that "constructive criticism" that she is "broken and needs nerfs". And even though the guys that have complained about it could've wait until have the chance to check Starfire in the lab, they first complained about her on TYM because it was the easier thing to do and ONLY AFTER THAT they came to the lab and there was kinda of a "taking-it-back" approach regarding her.

      @KingHippo and @Slips just this week talked about it on their podcast, on how the NRS community is so toxic, and the truth is that as much as it can come indeed from the pros, it comes 10 times more frequently from the smaller people like you, and by amount of people alone, you're essentially, while being grouped collectively have the same amount of influence as that of a top player.

      NRS already improve more and more even without all of your "constructive criticism" and they do try to get better not just by improving themselves but also by improving the community. Why do think IJ2 didn't receive that many patches as MKX? That's not because MKX really needed that many patches, it's because that the guys on TYM cried way too much. Of course MKX could've used SOME patches, but if the TYM guys would've not complaining as much as they did, the quantity of patches would've been much lower. NRS learned not to listen to you too much and that is how we got that pattern of patches for IJ2, so the WHOLE community, not just the pros, but EVERYONE will figure stuff out and ONLY THEN will patch the game.

      And if you think I'm the butthurt one, why do you think that @Jynks ,@haketh , @neveradestroyer and @Marinjuana are the ones I've quoted their posts? Because they are ones who actually keep the common sense of this particular thread in check, unlike you.

      And if you truly want NRS to improve rather then "going for the easy stuff" this is NOT the way to go.

      Also one more thing, back to the King Hippo and Slips and their podcast, Slips that say that the Soul Calibur community also was super toxic back in the days of SC4 and SC5, and not too long ago, Ragnarok said on the SC6 thread that the SC pros have left 8WayRun, the SC scene's counterpart to TYM, for a Facebook far away from them, just like all of the NRS pros have left TYM and almost never come back except maybe for one random post. Coincidence? I don't think so dude.
      Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
      Rizz091 and neveradestroyer like this.

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