A new potential damage mechanic

One thing that people have plenty of complaints about is guess breaking, or combo breaking in general. Personally, I don’t really have much of a problem with how combo breakers work or that guess breaking exists. However, I’ve been thinking about a new mechanic which could possibly satisfy players who go into their whole “hey, I opened you up” schtick. I think it could potentially add a fun new dynamic to combo breaking in general. Don’t look at this as a solution to a problem, just an interesting new mechanic.

When a combo is broken, one very important thing happens: potential damage goes down to zero. What if it didn’t? Well, it probably wouldn’t matter most of the time, because you have to contend with your opponent’s neutral and open them up again, and the reduction rate of white health increases exponentially. What if instead, a certain percentage (maybe 50%) of white health becomes permanent after a combo breaker? I’ll call this permanent potential damage “black damage”. Then after the combo breaker, more white damage can be built on top of it, and together they make up the total potential damage.

To put it mathematically:
Potential Damage = White damage + Black damage;

Then immediately after a combo breaker:
Black = PD*0.5;
White = 0;

The basic concept of this mechanic means that if your combo is broken, there’s some residual potential damage that you can cash out the next time you start a combo. Here’s an example: P2 breaks a combo when they have 12 HP of white health. After breaking, P2 then has 6 HP of potential damage (0 White + 6 Black). P2 breaks another combo after P1 builds up an additional 12 HP of white damage, leaving 9 HP of potential damage ((12 White + 6 Black)*0.5). Every time P2 breaks, they’re making it a bit easier for P1 to reach a high level ender on the following combo. This will likely give P2 less opportunities to break, as P1 will have more incentive to end the next combo early. If P2 is a nut who just always guess breaks, their inevitable lockout becomes more punishing more quickly.

To fine tune this mechanic, maybe black damage isn’t 50% of the white damage after a break. Maybe it’s 25%. Choosing this percentage cleverly could make it self-limiting so that it doesn’t build up an absurd amount of PD. Maybe black damage could have a set maximum. To compensate, ender levels would probably have to build up more slowly (which the devs have possibly hinted at by saying “longer combos”). If you want to balance it out a bit for the defense, you could make it so that a missed counter breaker returns all black health to the opponent.

You would have to look at whether it’s too good for Cinder and other characters that build a lot of PD. Personally, I think it’s kinda lame to land a Demonic Despair with Omen then pretty much have a 33% chance to lose it all immediately. This mechanic could help remedy this by retaining at least some of that built up PD. Also, you would have to look at whether this would be too big of a nerf to ARIA since her white health is pretty much already like black health.

Of course, combo breaking is skewed in the offense’s favor, and this only skews it even more in their favor. Also, it’s not the simplest thing to explain to a new player. Let me know what you think about this mechanic and how it would affect how KI is played.

I don’t know, if the damage is permanent it sounds like you’d be screwing yourself over for combo breaking late into a combo which would just negatively affect those of us that actually try to get an idea of our opponents combo habits as opposed to those that just mash breaker after an opener.

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Yeah, that’s an obvious downside to it. There would have to be a balance where it’s significant after a late combo breaker, but not a death sentence. Putting a limit on it could possibly do that. Maybe so that the maximum amount of black damage starts you off with a level 2? It’s kinda hard to balance when you only have 4 ender levels where level 4 is reached so easily.

I think the way combo breakers work is already correct, and I don’t want to see it change. The two-way interaction and risk-reward are why I play this, but don’t play MVC or SF, and gave up on MKX early.

Opening somebody isn’t a guarantee, you have to play the mind game, including whether or not to use a CB. If they break, whether it’s a read or a guess, they won the mind game.

It’s an interesting concept, and certainly tosses the game further into the offense’s favor. I wouldn’t personally be in favor of this though, as I think the game is already pretty weighted on that end anyway, and actually like the current trade offs and risk/reward involved.

I agree. I don’t really like this system either. It just doesn’t seem right. I still think if people complaining about guess-breaking should try to implement counter-breakers or do uniqe stuff then they shouldn’t worry so much about guessing in the first place.

The way I see it:

If your opponent keeps guessing, it just means they have no idea what to expect from you. So just use that to your advantage. The tools are there, anyone compalimng about guess-breaking isn’t puting much strategy into their combos after opening an opponent up.