Growing the Community: Combo Assist Mode Discussion

Basically, if you’re already comfortable with the current system, you shouldn’t worry about this.

Combo Assist is a way to ease the access to newer players (brand new or fighting game veterans) who aren’t used to KI’s current system and motions.

You don’t have to input Linkers or Enders with this on. Basically simplifies your combos a bit.

Ita interesting. I’m not convinced it should be available for Ranked or competition, but I’d like to get my hands on it before I say anything contradicting top level players who know what they’re talking about.
Gonna have to call in the friends that avoided this game to test it out, when does 2.13 drop?


It should. It doesn’t give an advantage at all.

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Come to think of it, maybe this would be worth having a Dojo lesson about, in order to introduce new players to it at the same time that they’re learning the basics of the game. Sort of how most FPS games tend to ask you about things like inverting your aim when you first start playing.

This certainly isn’t a threat to veteran players.

I do think it’s going to provide new players a crutch that they possibly rely on. And that’s not necessarily a good thing. Special canceling, and things like option selects are core mechanics in most fighting games. If you don’t force people to learn them it’s likely they will never try learning them. I guess my concern is that there will be players who develop bad habits like mashing and what not which will hinder them in the future when they try to learn the more intricate aspects of the game. A large part of fighting games is muscle memory and this will condition people to have a specific muscle memory that is not conducive to higher level play.

How does it affect manuals?

Just think of this as training wheels. It helps them get started and when they want to,they can actually learn how to do it properly.

Making the game even less execution heavy, is not what is gonna bring in more people.
Aĺ i see is pandering to people who wont care about ki, no matter what.

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Yeah that’s basically how I see it. I hope it works, just concerned is all. I play with my brother a lot and he used to be a button masher, hence he really liked sabrewulf. It took some time to break him from the habits he made, he didn’t actually break them until Omen (a character he really wanted to play) came along and gave him someone that required a little higher execution to play, as such he’s become a much better and more versatile player. My concern is that maybe wouldn’t have happened if he was afforded sabrewulf style execution on every character.

Then again we’re talking about how to get more people into the game not how to get them better at the game. So I suppose for the purpose of getting more people in, this is likely only a good thing.

I think retaining them will still be a major issue, especially with KI’s horrible matchmaking.

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Not really… its almost like giving Rabid Doubles to everyone, but they won’t have access to certain moves unless they actually input the commands like down-up or QCB. So new players can slowly start learning the inputs to vary their combos, allowing them a probably slightly decreased learning curve.
Wow, I’ve (i think) answered my own doubts. Maybe @TheKeits can correct me if I’m wrong?

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Pandering would be modes that they described in the first half of the announcement. Changing how game play fundamentally works is not only pandering but an ineffective sort that never gets people really into the game. This alternative control mode allows players to learn the ins and outs of pressure, zoning and footsies without Tripping over the arbitrary aspect of how you press the buttons.


I think one of the things we’ll see in Season 3 is the release of Ranked Leagues from beta, hopefully with a better matchmaking system.

Plus getting someone interested in the game and keeping the interest there (by way of the Combo Assist stuff) are the best start - if someone is interested in the game enough to try it (free S1 is a good way to pull them in initially!), and have the “training wheels” to begin getting used to the game, I believe that someone who has a true interest in it will WANT to learn how to improve their play, and also to get more technical.

I started off really terribly struggling to play Spinal with random hits from neutral and the occasional fireball. I picked him due to my love of skeletal characters/motifs (surprised?) and although I could mash my way through some CPU and online matches, I knew I could be better. I experimented with a few characters until settling on Thunder, where I’ve made a LOT of improvement, and will be pushing myself to learn more going forward.

I think this will bring in a negligible amount of new players. There are inherently too many barriers to fighting games and making an already frustrating part of the KI metagame simpler to execute is not going to make a difference. Newcomers are still going to get caught in long, damaging combos, guess wrong, and keep eating them and that’s what’s frustrating to them.

The opener/linker/ender system in itself is what is confusing to people. It’s wrapping your head around that pattern, and keeping track of what is what in a combo that’s the barrier to entry of the system, and this doesn’t change that. I’d actually argue that doing the special motions helps you keeps track of the different segments. That’s what hepled me. I think the frustration of the system itself is still there, now this just has one less way to differentiate the segments of this system.

Any time you simplify something, there needs to be a tradeoff so the original method is not rendered completely irrelevant. For example an auto-combo feature in a fighter where you can mash a button for a combo is good for beginners, but there should be a concession, and that typically it is that it’s not an optimized combo and there are better, more damaging options. That is fine.

In this case this is very close to making the doing the special move motions completely irrelevant. The idea that this provides no competitive advantage seems misguided if your linker/ender options are not limited in some was as a concession for making them easier to do. If there is no advantage to actually doing the motions, than you have effectively removed them from the game completely. It sounds like you do have limited options for most characters as a result, and that is the concession, but that may depend on the character. I don’t remember which character may be more affected off the top of my head. If that is the case it should probably be fine, but it still seems like it could use a little more tradeoff.

I’m all for trimming down super-execution heavy requirements like Street Fighter V is doing by removing one frame links, and am generally fine with auo-combo options. I’m not an elitist in any way in that regard, but I do not think in this case the motions are really a barrier enough to remove them when the combo system itself is the core point of confusion. KI already has very simple command motions, and the combo system already feels very homogenous between characters as a result. I’m wary of this making them completely moot and devolving combo situations into a purely button-based beat-match type of mini-game where typical fighting game motions are ignored. I like doing simple motion like these for special moves. Just leave some benefit for doing them.

We’ll see how it is in practice, but those are my initial thoughts.


You don’t choose the ender though. I think it randomly chooses one. You can be doing Battery enders with full meter. Can you even do Shadow Linkers?

Good question.

My guess is that Assist mode is simply for basic combos only, with the deeper lvl of combo variation being accessible if you make attempts at doing the motion inputs

Another good question… at first I was thinking he’d just do a regular combo, but since the Assist mode is supposed to work simultaneously with being able to combo normally, maybe he’ll have to hold down the autodouble button in this case (versus pressing repeatedly) … idk

Another good question.

Overall, I like the intention of the mode. I’ve tried with a couple of neighbors but them not able to consistently execute fireball motions was indeed a barrier for them being able to enjoy the game.

Having this in conjunction with making season one free in January is a great idea to try and bring in some new players that either might not know KI or might not even normally try and play fighting games.

If they can take a few minutes to grasp what the combo system is, and combo assist allows them to do a move, and then create a combo without having to do the motion cancels… Maybe this allows them to do some cool stuff in the game, which gets them interested?

Who knows if those people will delve deeper, take the training wheels off, spend some money on season 2 etc. But honestly? If they like what they see enough to get in to it a little, and this takes even a slight amount of the genre barrier down without hurting higher level players, then I think it’s a perfectly fine shot worth taking on the part of the devs and it sounds like a very thoughtful design.

I have two people in mind that I’ll try this with and see if they like it. Neither of them are hardcore fighting game fans by any means (one casually enjoys Soul Calibur and DOA and the other casually enjoys Mortal Kombat).

I’ll be curious to see if doing a combo this way leads them to enjoying the game more. Even if they don’t take the training wheels off, the mere fact that this could help them enjoy the game a bit and want to play it more is a victory in my mind.

Nice idea, guys!

I guess you can’t do shadows liners without the motion(?)

I think the mode is not a big deal, as long as you can’t do every possible normal linker/ender you could with the motions. If not, then maybe a tad less damage if you don’t do the motion? There just needs to be enough of a tradeoff or a reason for the motions to still exist.

No shadows and no combo traits seems like a good trade off for me. Plus I don’t think you can choose enders.