Shadow Lords 2.0 - what would you ask for?

There’s lots of discussions about whether this is the end of KI with the release of Eagle, will there be a sequel etc. This just has me thinking about what I would do with Shadow Lords for a 2.0 release. To be honest up front, I don’t play a lot of the mode - although I see it’s potential. So, here are my list of things that I would like to see in Shadow Lords 2.0, regardless of whether it is an update to this game or part of a sequel.

  1. Load times - It takes way too long to get into a fight. This mode is really menu heavy and it takes a long time between fights each and every time. For people like me who come to play the game, not manage their inventory, the load times are really a drag. Playing on PC is WAY better than Xbox for this reason.

  2. Use shadow AI - Shadows are the most realistic and therefore fun way to play AI in my opinion. Although they need some work in making Shadows less exploitable, it’s way more fun to play than against any other AI. Use this. For everyone. Always. It wouldn’t (edit: it doesn’t seem to me anyway - I should be careful since I know nothing about programming) be too hard to populate SL with AI shadows from the dev team and just crank the difficulty up or down as appropriate.

  3. More of what’s good - more story plots, more cinematics etc. Obviously this is easy to ask for but takes a lot of effort.

So, what would the rest of you do with SL 2.0?

1.Gear system
2.Better interactions between characters (unique dialogues, different relationships between teammates)
3.Better cutscenes

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  1. It needs the SAME difficulty or harder… no hardliner causalization please.

  2. The automatic fight should give a little bit character experience. (around 25%?)

  3. More cinematics, perhaps with localization.

  4. Pre-fight character conversations could be implemented in the world-screen instead of the loading screen. It’s perhaps a better feeling regarding to wasted time.

  5. Add a limited way to recruit new team-members, besides of the few enemy events and without a restart. (Maybe 1-2 times and not the leader)
    It can suck if you play 100+ rounds with characters who are already 50 and you can’t find another character to join the team.

  1. More cutscenes. Every mission just feels the same.
  2. Shadow AI for everything. Shadow missions are great and all but it still doesn’t excuse the horrible trash AI that doesn’t feel human at all to fight. You don’t have to use Shadows of actual people. Just make use of Shadow AI technology to make something that feels human. There is this amazing revolutionary AI that is seriously being wasted.
  3. Make character choice actually have an impact. Most of the dialogues are just generic. Make it vary. Also make more choices per character. Things like picking Riptor causes fear in civilians and make it increase fear. Fear discussed next.
  4. Add a fear system. Currently, the order you do missions doesn’t matter which is really odd. The first mission doesn’t increase fear in civilians. The end two however does as the mimics have more time to attack. This encourages choice. As fear rises, the chance of attacks in those regions rises. This can make it so that there can be way more than 3 missions available which adds an interesting dynamic.
  5. Give a reason to delay Gargos. There is no reason to stop delay Gargos. It does nothing. Add things like a change of boss if you stall long enough.

More cut scenes for characters like Riptor, Kan-Ra, thunder or Eagle.

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-More difficulty levels: If casuals want to play and have fun, then let them. If people want a hardcore challenge, that should absolutely be there too. Right now, the AI on normal mode is kind of all over the place, even within some fights that say “easy” or “medium” on them. So yeah, up the number of difficulties from 3 to 5, one on the low end, and one on the high end.

-More dossiers, and make them drop more easily. I love seeing story conveyed this way, but it seems like the more dossiers I get, the harder it is to get more. You reach a certain point and they just stop dropping. I’ve needed two dossiers for Shin Hisako for almost a month now, yet no matter how many times I fight her mimic or shadow, they just don’t drop. There needs to be some sort of scaling (or better scaling) when the number of dossiers a player needs starts to dwindle.

-A steadier stream of content. I don’t know if this was intended or not, but a mode like this would greatly benefit from more content drops on a steadier basis. So far it feels like we got the Eyedol drop, the Kilgore drop, and possibly one other related to Tusk, if I recall correctly? More events that advance the story would be amazing.

-More new items to go with the guardians: I love how steady the guardians have been, but it’d also be great if we got more new items as well. I believe we’ve had one new set of items come out? That’s good, but a mode like this benefits from a more constant stream of content on a near weekly basis, or at least every other week, to keep people engaged and trying to get more stuff.

-More cutscenes: I know it’s not just a matter of slapping these together, but these should be coming out in a steady stream as well, as these are viewed by some as a major reward. The more of these we can get, the better.

-Massive missions: I’d really like to see certain missions that you can opt in to that have branching paths, character changes, choices, etc that tell a story or advance the main through line, like a Killer Instinct Tournament that has a bracket and tells parts of a larger story depending on which characters you choose to play with and change in and out of your party, etc. Maybe matches can even get interrupted by story elements? Really try and play with what people can do and see in this mode.

-Shadow Lords-only characters: While I like the idea of mimics and shadows, and I hope to see them return in the future, it’d be nice too if there were more generic looking grunts that players could fight as well. Now, obviously we wouldn’t want them to be too cool or everyone would scream for them to be full-fledged, playable characters, but maybe Ultratech suits or generic army guys or Night Guard units or coven vampires or whatever. The more variety we have to look at, the better.

-Play with the party system a bit: Maybe have a character leave your party if you make certain decisions? Maybe allow people to carry four characters for a given time? Some people might hate this, but it’d be cool to give some of those decisions more weight and also throw more curve balls at people while they’re playing.

-More special missions and personalized missions: The latter part speaks for itself, but by special missions, I mean the ones where you wager stuff, or fight multiple characters, etc. There should be other types, like maybe item raids, or other special portals that give you very specific items, or rewards like “defeating mission X” heals your whole party, or a thief steals some of your inventory and you have to get it back, or even monthly “special missions” that you can opt to take on, but don’t last forever and so on and so on.

In other words, more of everything. If the biggest criticism that I can level at the mode is that I want far more of it, with greater variety; a sort of “evolved” version of what we have now, then I think it says volumes for what I think of this mode. I personally love it. I just want to have more cool stuff constantly thrown at me so that the dossier grind is more of a fun background kind of thing then a somewhat sloggish main objective a lot of the time.


Gear system new accessories

Omission of tapping buttons to get through pages of dialogue and have it pre game in intros at least in text on screen

Automatic guardian feed ( who thought 16 button presses to refill guardians would be enjoyable) that horrible sound sample
we ALWAYS have Astral energy

Shadows with colors other than purple I’m rather done with the magenta filters
Minions with actual skins ( reference Injustice god /demon shaders)

I doubt any of this would see light of day but -

Ah yeah, that is one thing I could do with less of: The menu jumping. Don’t get me wrong, I get that this mode is largely menu driven, so where they need to be there, they look great and they get the job done. I’m just saying that it’d be nice if they could find a way to reduce the number of back and forth, like maybe giving players the option to equip all three characters at once? Like maybe when you click on a item, like odorous wolf heart, the three character names from your party pop up and you can press A on each name to highlight the ones you want to have that item, then scroll down to a confirm button.

Maybe also have the three characters pics appear at the top of the screen and then have the inventory below them, and allow you to just assign items to each character on one screen instead of having to exit out of one character, go in to another, equip an item, exit out, go in to the last character, etc.

Love the automatic guardian feed is a great idea.
An idea I had, which don’t know what be allowed.

Guardian combine. The ability to use two guardians or one guardian with two powers on one character. Like vampirism and amor, or guard crush and blitz, or Perry and rage.

Items specifically for each character like tusks.
Character endings for all characters when you beat gargos and theyre cannon.
Rival scenes like season 2
Unlock more costumes, banners,artwork, music, colours, accessories through SL ver.2.
Even unlock new moves or coloured variants to go with the colours like jagos green/red fireball and laser sword.
It’s a great mode but it needs fleshed out more for each character even remix ones.
Actual incentives to play the mode. Maybe cut down on all the screens/menus.

maybe this is just me, but it would be cool if every character in SL had 1-2 “hidden” moves that you could only use by having some sort of “Awakening”-based item or something. or if you could augment already existing moves with items and spells to change how they function, like an electric Endokuken that causes stagger, or summoning Hail without having to play the summoning animation. kinda like the move “variants” that you could unlock in Smash 4.

aside from that… it’d be great if there was a full set of difficulties for SL. or at least easy/beginner, standard, challenging and godlike. the lack of an “easy mode” is a pretty frustrating downside sometimes… especially with whatever’s going on with the AI right now where it feels like it’s a lot more difficult to fight on the whole.

i want to play SL a lot more, but sometimes i want to play without feeling like i’m going to lose the moment an omen appears. stat-building and being intentionally broken is the point of the mode, and sometimes i just wanna trounce through some folks with my perfect guardians and no-blocking-allowed trinkets without getting my arse handed to me by a “Hard” AI in turn 10 on normal, yknow?

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Honestly, I just want more of that lore goodness. Pour on the cinematics, readables, and character interactions!


Bonus boss maybe? Something like infinite instinct Eyedol?


A worthwhile multiplayer mode.

better STORRYY

Shadow lords has so much untapped potential. Now that the mode is in there make it bigger, bolder. Something other games don’t do. I mean when you beat gargos the ending is a stock you win screen and I hate to say it because the Devs pour so much into it but the end is pathetic.

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Thanks guys for the many thoughtful responses. Just to kind of summarize what I’m reading so far:

  1. People like Shadow Lords, and a lot of the requests are for more content:
    More stories/cinematics
    More dossiers/lore
    More missions
    More rewards to unlock
  2. Lots of people asking for more difficulty options.
  3. Several requests for Shadow AI to replace the regular AI
  4. A few calls for menu navigation/load time improvements
  5. Character or team specific endings

Obviously some of these things are more challenging than others, but it’s a pretty discreet list.

I have a pretty radical suggestion. Since Mixer just launched with the ability to combine multiple streams (anybody done this yet btw?), what about allowing multiplayer or co-op Shadow Lords? Each player is a character, they can run missions simultaneously or together while being in the same SL world. I think it would be pretty fun to go at Gargos with a group of friends.


1- More unique questlines for all characters, expanding their personal stories. IMO you should have at least one “special” mission each turn, being randomized between existing special missions(ultratech leak, abandoned lab…), and one personal missions. The rest, random universal missions and shadows

2- More cinematics, even if they are pictures with text, like S2.

3- Party sinergy problems. If you align Aria and Thunder, they may fight between them, having to choose a side, and losing the defeated one. Give them alternative outcomes by dialoge or special events(If in one personal mission you choose to aid Ultratech, Ultratech fighters may forgive you more easily if they fight you). If you gather a good team(Orchid, Jago, TJ / Aria, Fulgore, Cinder…), they have extra missions where they fight for their common goals. A “neutral” team without any link gets nothing(Something like Jago, Cinder, Sabrewulf)

3- Alternative Shadow Lords mode: Instead of stopping corruption, you have to spread it. Only for Gargos and his minions, with the chance of recruiting some characters(someone like Sadira or Kan-Ra, never someone like Orchid, Kim-Wu or Aria)

4- Online shadow lords: Special mission, like the shadow ones, where you have to face a human opponent. As you play shadow lords, you can enable this feature, if someone choses this mission while you are in Shadow Lords, you will be challenged. Great rewards for this. Lore wise, this missions could be a compliment to “fight X fighter” missions, so you face a “real” character controlled by a human(not a mimic or shadow).


One thing I didn’t see mentioned I’d like to see is the consumable items reworked to where they perhaps have longer durations so you’re not having to go back and reload everyone after 3 rounds if not sooner. I see why they did it, but after playing through the mode 3 or 4 times it gets damn annoying real fast.

Or maybe even solve this issue by allowing you to stack consecutive consumables. This way each consumable’s relative value stays the same but you don’t have to reload so much.