Mortal Kombat watches you play, fixes balancing issues when you're not looking

NetherRealm explains its persistent balancing system

It'd be easy to cross Mortal Kombat off as a mindless, gore-soaked fighter, but it turns out the game has as much brains as it does blood. NetherRealm has revealed details of its new gameplay technology that works in the background to balance fighting mechanics on the fly without ever tipping off players.

In his chat with Eurogamer, series creator Ed Boon said NetherRealm shipped Mortal Kombat with a system that can monitor match-ups and scale the power of certain moves orcombos when it needs to in order to keep the fight fair and balanced at all times.

"If an infinite were to come out, or a character is too powerful, we can make adjustments and address those things immediately," explained Boon, who noted the system works as a 'mini-update' which circumvents normal patching practices and allows NetherRealm the wherewithal toanalzyereal-time game dataand upload necessary balancing tweaks.

"It's something that's built into our system. We can do it without having players have to download a patch. That's something we're very excited about. We can monitor what things players may have an issue with and then correct them as needed,” he added. Meanwhile, Capcom tends to handle its Street Fighter balancing issues by releasing new editions (Super SFIV, Arcade Edition), while MvC3 did feature a patch that toned down the insanity that is Sentinel (among other things). That said, it sounds like NetherRealm's solution is much faster and more dynamic, leading to more frequent, smallerupdates.

Ourinitial reviewof Mortal Kombatfound its balancing system in need of slight repair, but it sounds like Boon and his teamare still fine-tuning. Are you ok with NetherRealm watching you play?


Apr 21, 2011

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