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Does UMvC3 need a patch?

EVO is right around the corner just under 3 weeks away. At this point many competitors, and players in the Vancouver scene (I myself included) are training in preparation. With speculations of AE getting a 2014 patch at EVO I’d like to address the question of does Marvel 3 need a patch?

I speak from a competitor standpoint and realize there are varying opinions on the matter but I feel at patch will hurt Marvel 3. One of the immediate reasons revolve around the timing in which I’m writing this. If there was patch right now, it would cause players to relearn the game just weeks before EVO. We’ve seen this happen when AE first came out one month before EVO. The Japanese players had a huge advantage as AE had already been in the arcades for several months while everyone else got the patch late and were behind in experience. While I don’t believe if Marvel 3 were to receive a patch that it would be regionally released, but poorly timed patches may cause extra work for tournament organizers. Being one myself, I know how much of a hassle it can be to make sure all setups have the correct version of the game. In addition the players may suffer as their characters and tech may have changed and have their would be performance altered.

However, this is not the most pressing matter I find with a Marvel patch. The game is a very dynamic in it’s design and mechanics due to its’ large number of variables. The game allows for a great deal of player customization and personal combos and team dynamics. As a result, the game has great butterfly effect when it comes to changes.

I’d like to point but Dr.Doom. He received several buffs from vanilla to Ultimate but the most dramatic change was a hard knock down property added to his j.S footdive. What resulted was a character that had an easy to hit confirm cross up move, high damage combos and many players picking him up due to his ease of use. His hidden missiles assist is also a powerful tool that some players will just pick without regarding Doom as a character. Now if say the hard knock down was removed, suddenly there’d be a drop in Doom players. Those who truly understand the character would keep him but others would switch to another or maybe even switch to a new team.

Sentinel was one of the characters that was affected the most from changes. In addition to his health nerf in vanilla, in Ultimate he lost his rocket punch into Hyper Sentinel Force link. In the beginning, Sentinel was considered overpowered and with the first month the got nerfed and as the game and players progressed, many have found Sentinel to be one of the weaker characters in the game.

This brings up the question of what needs to be patched and how. Capcom listen to fan feedback and tournament results which influence their decisions. How do the developers and even the players know if something needs a patch? This is a very hard question as fighting games take time to evolve due to their depth. I feel the TAC combos and infinite which are standard now where never imagined by the developers. Are they broken? In a sense but the execution required to do them, I feel justify their existence. Sure it’s not fun seeing your character being infinited but the other player is put in the time and work to learn it.

As stated by Combofiend in my friends’ Shiro420 interview constantly patching a game takes away the depth and may turn off competitors. The interview can be viewed here. He goes on saying that certain tech may never be uncovered, which is true and has happened in Marvel. Jill received nerf which the developers felt where necessary, otherwise she’d be broke. Many players felt it was an odd decision because even not many play Jill and isn’t seen as a super strong character.

What’s seemingly unbeatable at one point can turn into novice fare. Spiral from Marvel 2 was an example. There was a 2 year period in which her trap dominated the tournament scene much like Chris G’s MorriDoom of today. Eventually the players came up with new technology that made Spiral nearly irrelevant. I’m very interested to what the pros have come up with at EVO to deal with MorriDoom. I can only wait to see what EVO and beyond brings to this game.

Posted by: BionicFraud on Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

NCR 2013 – Impressions and Picking the Right Team

Northern California Regional 2013 by far has been my favorite tournaments of the 2012/2013 circuit leading up to EVO 2013. The Marvel really stood out from the rest of the games with countless tense and exciting matches. I don’t remember the last time I tired out from being overhype while watching a stream. For those who didn’t catch the action, a quick look at the bracket at top 16 give you a sense of how wild Marvel was:

In losers was the likes of coL.FChamp, EG.PRBalrog, EG.JWong, Noel Brown, and AGE ChrisG. Ranmasama and Neo were the two sleepers who worked their way to top 3.

What stood out for me were the large number of Chris Redfields and unique “low tier teams and characters during pools. There was LLND who ran thru people with his team of Chris, Hsien Ko and Ammy and then there was KaneBlueRiver, whom I thought was going to win the tournament with his savage team of Hulk, Sentinel and Haggar. Upon seeing the number of Chris’, I knew Chris G was going to be knocked into losers by one which leads me to the AGE ChrisG vs SenorTaxi.

Probably the biggest highlight of the night was AGE ChrisG being sent to losers by SenorTaxi, a regular at “The Runback” weekly tournaments held in Super Arcade, Walnut CA streamed by Levelup. In terms of team composition SenorTaxi had the better team. Chris outzones Morrigan completely with his high durability projectile attacks and space control with grenades; with Dante covering the vertical space and negating doom missiles the matchup was completely in SenorTaxis’ favor until Astral vision was activated. As I mentioned, SenorTaxi had the better team, not characters. What’s interesting is despite his characters being med to low tier, they manage to fight the higher tiered characters of Morrigan, Dr.Doom and Vergil quite well.

Here I’d like to get into the dynamic of UMvC3 characters. In Marvel 2 near its’ end became a 8 character game with teams being composed only of top tier characters simply because characters below the tiers couldn’t compete at all with those on top. In UMvC3, this problem was fixed by the system’s high damage output, x-factor and unique character traits. Each character has their own special tools which when used and paired correctly can be extremely effective. Morrigans’ Astral vision with Hidden missiles is an example of this. It seems the lower tiered characters lack some or all of the following: damage, ease of use, movement, move, but from what I noticed they have more effective traits which justify and rounds them out as a character.

Chris Redfield has high health, high damage and high durability projectiles. When combined with great zoning and keep away options, Chris is tough to crack, however his character is rounded out by his lack of vertical space control, and limited movement. What did SenorTaxi do to fix this? He picked Jam Session to fill the last piece of his game.

Being an Iron Man player, I know his movement and hit confirms aren’t good but his damage is extremely high and has the best beam assist in the game. What’s extremely deadly a THC proton cannon. It creates a 1 frame frametrap and locks the opponent in place for large amount of time. Most players I play aren’t ready for it or don’t know about it at all and struggle to quickly find an answer.

Then there’s Hsien Ko’s gold armor hyper which LLND put to great use. Having a nearly fullscreen, invincible assist benefits any character but the state also also Hsien Ko to fight Vergil, Hulk, Frank West and many other characters. In fact gold state Hsien Ko is terrifying.

One last example I’d like to mention is KaneBlueRivers’ team. As mentioned on stream his team of Hulk, Sentinel and Haggar on paper shouldn’t work. The lack of mobility, expansion assist, susceptibility to zoning and lack of mixups means he shouldn’t able to catch or hit runaway players yet what was not mentioned enough was the high health of the team and damage. Hulk with an OTG assist can kill most of the cast and a DHC will kill any character in one hit. Kane only needs 3 hits to win a match whereas his opponents needs to waste a lot of resources and maybe go for resets to kill one of his. Knowing this Kane can take more risks without fear of losing a character and of course the armored moves help his gameplan.

I’m pointing out something that has been said many times before which I think needs to be stressed more is Marvel 3 is the importance is placed on team composition much more than single characters. Vergil is being regarded as the best character in the game and I’m seeing many players pick him up just for that fact alone. Just having Vergil on a team won’t increase your likelihood of winning if you don’t know how to play him. Vergil without X-factor or meter doesn’t function well as an anchor. Playing a team you like and know well is more likely to help you improve and win as you will know tech others don’t which in Marvel can make or break a match. I know what I’m saying is probably causing most of you to go “duh it’s common sense” but being competitive player myself, I know it’s easy to get discouraged when it seems picking a top tier is the easier way to go. In the end, it’s not the characters, it’s how you play them.

Posted by: BionicFraud on Friday, May 3rd, 2013

LANcouver 2011 – CrossXoveR Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Tournament

Just a quick highlight video from the 3v3 Marvel vs. Capcom 3 tournament hosted by CrossXoveR at LANcouver 2011. Enjoy!

Posted by: Akuma on Saturday, July 23rd, 2011