Growing the Community: Combo Assist Mode Discussion

And what’s wrong with casuals choosing to play that way if that’s how they want to experience the game?

Maybe some will decide to take the training wheels off and some won’t. What’s it to you?


I think its easy to miss from the outside looking in if you aren’t a KI player, and I know this doesn’t apply to any of you, but its worth stating that it was already pretty trivial to perform a max damage combo in KI. We all know that, but we also all know that isn’t how this game is played or what it is about. If you see someone talking about KI and Combo Assist, invite them to come try the game a learn a bit more about why Combos are such a core and different part of this game when compared to others like it. :smile:


Can you elaborate a little more maybe with an example or two why someone would NOT want to use this assist if they actually know the moves and enjoy that part of the combos?

My only concern is that there would be no reason to ever do the motions again, in which case you’ve not just opened it up for more leniency, but made a fundamental change to the moves in a combo and took away a part of the game someone enjoys. If you don’t need to do the motions, why should you?

Do you think the tradeoff in using this assist is enough that people would still have any desire to use the motions?

Did you consider allowing these to do slightly less damage to balance out having an easier input? That would provide actual incentive for eventually moving up to the norm eventually and make it feel a little less like a core element is being taken away.

This game isn’t about scoring a hit and turning that into the best damage possible, so changing the amount of damage the motionless version of a move does doesn’t really make sense to us. This game is about making decisions to confuse and lockout your opponent during combos after your initial first-hit damage to earn a bigger reward, and that part of the game is all about decisions and timing, not motion execution. Where do you sneak in manuals or resets? When do you counter-break? Etc etc.

I’m pretty sure dojo mode for every character would be better. Not bad players wont drop combos from bad inputs on the dpad

I really love this idea. I can already think of a few people I know who would enjoy KI more as a result of this.


Pretty sure character dojos take a lot more time and programming than simply bypassing directional inputs inside a combo. Maybe we’ll hear more about dojos with the Season 3 reveal stuff we eventually get.

Well you can’t use combo traits as a start and no shadow linkers either apparently. I don’t think you can choose enders either if you are using the assist ender.

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There is a lot of discussion going on about this,

but let me go ahead and say that i approve of this new feature

Just a quick post to “cast my vote”, i guess

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Hi, I’m Infil, and I played this mode. AMA

(Everything in this post is subject to change in case they adjusted some stuff since I tested it)

How do you do combo traits?
You HOLD BACK during the combo and you will get access to your character-specific traits or target combos. So to do Jago’s around the world, you’ll have to hold back while pressing HP, MP, LP, otherwise you will get an auto-double into a linker.

And this gets into one of the reasons why you might want combo assist off if you are already used to the game. For example, if Sabrewulf is doing LP, MP, HP target combo as a hit confirm in neutral, he needs to be holding back, otherwise you will get LP into opener. Most good players hold back in most situations, but there are times when you don’t… for example, if you walk up to whiff punish, or if you are dashing through your opponent and you don’t know which side will be backwards.

This is the same for low short, low short as a hit confirm, which always triggered low short -> opener in the version I played. I think this is far enough down the line of skill that beginners aren’t going to be looking to hit confirm, but it’s a reason I will probably play with it off, personally.

What about characters with multiple linkers, enders?

They have picked a particular linker and assigned it to punch or kick. For characters with only 2 linkers (most characters), this doesn’t limit them, although it might feel a little weird because, for example, both of Hisako’s linkers are punch special moves but one of them will have to be assigned to kick in this mode. Not a big deal, though. For characters with 3 linkers (Cinder, Spinal, etc) they will simply have to perform a special move input to get access to their 3rd linker. It’s the same with enders, they chose two specific enders and assigned them to f+HP and f+HK. One of them is probably the damage ender, and the other one is probably character specific… not too sure since I didn’t try every character. If you want an ender outside of the ones given, you have to do the motion.

This also applies to ultra… if you do f+PPP or f+KKK (depending on what your character’s ultra is), you’ll get ultra if the normal ultra conditions are met. If you want to do shadow moves, you simply press 2 buttons during an acceptable linker state and it does a predetermined shadow linker (probably the shadow version of the normal linker for that button). I don’t know how it works for characters like Hisako with only one shadow linker… my guess is pressing PP or KK gives you the same shadow linker in this case.

Why would you ever turn this off?

Maybe you won’t! Especially if those above things I mentioned (holding back to do target combos or traits, low short confirms) don’t matter to you, I suspect you’ll have no reason to. I also think this doesn’t impact the game at all, so it’s just a preference thing. If you have more fun playing KI without doing combo motions, then more power to you, I think. You still have to hit me in neutral and avoid doing predictably breakable combos just like any other player. You still have to time your manuals. There will still be times when you “get lost” in the combo system and drop a combo because your button presses are early or late. I don’t think any of these things are a concern, this mode only helps people who suck at doing fast, repeated quarter circle motions.

I think a lot of good players will turn it off, though, because they’ve long ago conquered the quarter circle dexterity problem and they don’t want accidental normal into openers or something in neutral.

But I really do think this mode is pretty ingenious. It allows beginners to have that “wow” factor of doing something really cool that they probably didn’t understand but who cares that was AWESOME! They won’t ever beat good players, of course, but they will be able to have fun with their other non-FGC friends all the same. If you think this doesn’t matter because 99% of them won’t stick with the game anyway, then I don’t think you’re thinking about the problem correctly, or you don’t know anybody who sucks at FGs but likes to see cool combos. It will make a pretty big difference to them. Eventually, some of them (not all of them but certainly more than 0) will start to dig into the game because they are having so much fun.


Thanks for the actual answers.

No prob, if you have other questions that I didn’t cover feel free to ask.

How does it work if you ■■■■ up an input? Does it still do the assist linker because say you hit medium punch at the end even if you do the directional inputs wrong?

If I understand this correctly, i think Combo Assist Mode is an answer to many’s prayers.

While I think this will help out a lot of the new players, it will def become a standard to a lot of them and not want them to play the regular way. I for one am thinking about just going this way and am a Killer Ranked player mostly because it’s hard to do DP motions reliably. If I can just press forward and end a combo instead of having to do a DP motion ill do it every day and leave the old motions behind.

Secondly, all I asked for was to explain the terminology to new players but you guy still over complicated things. Even the pictures you guys provided will be to complicated for the new players. Putting an M on the punch and kick symbols will not make a new comer look at their controller and automatically understand what’s going on.

I was planning on sharing this blog post on /r/xboxone for the new people excited to try Killer Instinct when its free but there is no way anyone of the newcomers will understand all of the terminology. If anything, as soon as they read the “Cancel normal into special” they will automatically become intimidated and leave. You had one job IG and you blew it!

Also, why isn’t it easier to get into the command list and why can’t you open it during an online match. Every other fighting game lets you except KI.

Yes, the game first tries to see if you did a “real” motion and applies that. If the game finds that what you did had no suitable motion, it will apply the combo assist rules if you have the mode turned on.

So if you freak out in your Jago combo and do, like… QCF + K as a linker attempt (which isn’t a special move), then you’ll just get the K linker automatically.

These are exactly the types of situations this mode was designed to address, though. This is something beginner players do all the time, and intermediate players rarely, if ever, do.


Oh, another thing the game won’t let you do is opener directly into linker via one button press (you will always get auto-doubles after your opener if you use combo assist). This is a very desirable thing to bait 1st frame break attempts / mix up your combos, and you’ll have to do the special move motion to get this to work. Forgot to mention this in my post above.

Again, beginners won’t care about that but intermediate players will start to care, and experts definitely care. Once beginners get past the starting phase they can start to incorporate motions into their game.


I don’t know about that. Prople drop manuals and other higher execution combos. They don’t drop linkers and Enders. If you are dropping linkers and Enders in KI it probably isn’t " high level play." The only exception is if there’s online lag getting in your way.

I think anything they can do to bring in new players and KEEP THEM PLAYING is a good thing. Not to go off on a rant here, but there’s a lot of really passionate fans on these forums with all kinds of ideas (some of which are really great) for the game. Most of which involve MS investing a ton of money in it. The truth is, though, if we don’t get more people playing there is no point in any of this. The writing is in the wall guys - people’s difficulty finding equally skilled opponents - $1.00 characters, free on gold in January. Now this. We have a small player base that is not growing and we need to grow it. And with all the love in the world for the FGC, convincing high level tournament players to try KI isn’t going to do it. We need a big chunk of people who get an Xbox for Christmas playing this game and we need a good pool of new players on PC. I don’t know if this is going to do the trick, but it won’t hurt.

I talked my buddy into getting an Xbox for Christmas for his family (Battlefront sold him) and they don’t play fighting games. But with this, and the free January with Gold? I can definitely get him to try it.


I think it’s a nice feature. Looks like it would help my girlfriend play the game. She’s not particularly good since the only chance she gets to play KI is when we’re together, so enabling this for her would be a good way to help her have fun in the game rather than just trying to mash it out while I go easy on her. Looks like a great way to get people like that who want to play and like the characters but just aren’t good at the inputs playing for longer stretches and not giving up.
I have no use for it, personally, but I know plenty of people who might give this game a chance if they had a chance.

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The tool to bring new players and invite them to learn the terminology was on the game from day one - the dojo mode.

This will help players actually do those things the dojo teaches, this is not to teach the terminology.

Also intermediate to experienced players might leave the mode on but they’ll use it almost exclusively to do enders. The mode doesn’t have variety so your combos will get broken all the time. A good player needs the manuals, the openers into linkers and the variety of linkers to keep themselves from being broken by other experienced players.