I tend to wonder if some people just get tired out by all of the changes, especially from one season to the next, but more subtle changes can take place from one revision to another. The idea that a player used to like the game, but doesn’t like where it’s at now, to me at least, can also speak to both fatigue by familiarity as well as fatigue by lack of familiarity.
In other words, KI has been out for almost three years now. Three years is a lot of time to be practicing and playing one game. So maybe some people are just ready to move on to something new?
But by that same token, if you’re used to that one thing for so long, but it keeps getting changed on you, like adding in recaptures and flip outs and ground bounces and staggers and adding moves to characters while nerfing others… I mean, when you know something so well and then it becomes unfamiliar again, there’s a trade off.
For less experienced players such as myself, I think it’s amazing. It makes the game feel fresh and new again and I’m excited to jump in and mess around with all of the new toys. But for experienced players who put so much time in to learning what they now know… To have some of that rendered inaccurate or even useless, and to have dealt with that repeatedly now, well I can see how that unfamiliarity might be daunting.
Add to that a roster that keeps growing, new matchups to learn, a constantly changing tier list and a community that has a tendency to fear change and/or have a heightened level of nostalgia for not just the old games, but for past seasons of this one and you have a recipe for frustration.
Again, I’m not one of those frustrated people. But I think that certain realities of this game and the way it’s unloaded might simply mean that it’s not going to be for everyone, all the time.
Some people didn’t like season one’s tone, or character designs like Glacius or Sadira. They saw that this wasn’t going to be the reboot of the old KIs that they knew and loved and saw season one as their off ramp and left.
Some didn’t like the massive amount of changes made prior to season 2. Some hated the recapture mechanic, thought TJ had too much going, hated Kan Ra, didn’t like some animations, the select screen, the way stage ultras were done, and decided they didn’t like where this new studio was taking the game after a glorious season one, and they saw their offramp and they left.
Some hated the shadow color change, the lack of arenas, the stage relighting, guest characters, the new rebalance etc and felt that season 3 was their off ramp.
The key thing to remember here though is that as other people are leaving, whether it be due to wanting a new experience or not liking what the game has become, that more people are taking the on ramp and taking their place. People that are trying the game out for the guests or they wanted to play it before but didn’t want an Xbox One.
This game is expanding and so is it’s audience, but the game is also changing and so is the audience. I’ve been in these forums since season one, as a lot of you have, and I’m sure many of you remember people that used to be on the forums all the time that are no longer here.
This phenomenon is fairly normal. After being over at MK Online for so long, lots of names came and went; people that posted every day who seemingly moved on to another site or another game or another hobby, only to be replaced by new names who would post every day. Granted, that site’s traffic is slowly grinding to a halt, but we don’t seem to be having this problem here.
Point is, I can very easily see tourney pros falling in line with a lot of these other trends where it comes to a game or series that’s been around for a while. I think that’s just life. You enjoy something until you don’t enjoy it anymore and then you move on. Maybe some of that is the game’s fault in their minds, maybe it’s not. But for a game that’s constantly changing, constantly evolving, all while trying to please casual and hardcore players alike, they’re not going to hit everyone’s bulls eye every time, which means there are plenty of off ramps built in along the way.
Here’s hoping more people keep getting on than getting off for a good long while. I still feel like this game has a ton of longevity left in it. Here’s hoping the next crop of pros agrees.