Character Spotlight – Cassie Cage – Covert Ops

Just the facts –

Cassie Cage – Covert Ops
Gold Tier
Faction: Spec Ops
Passive: Covert Ops – All Spec Ops teammates have a 25% chance of unblockable attacks
Attacks:
1 – Glow Kick
2 – Air Assault
X – Testi-Kill

1100 Attack
1000 Health
1100 Toughness
990 Recovery
100% Power Gen

Cost: Kombat Pack Exclusive. Cannot be purchased outright.
Found In: Kombat Pack

IMG_0158What’s it all mean?
The covert ops passive is supposed to give a 25% chance for all spec ops team members to have an unblockable attack, but it appears it applies to Cassie Cage as well! With her high attack stat this can make her brutal in a fight.

Her glow kick is basically a riff on Sonya’s arc kick and is kinda ok but not great. The real fun is in Cassie’s air assault attack which drops high damage bombs on her opponent and it appears to either be unblockable or rarely blocked. If her target somehow survives their special attacks will be disabled for a good duration of time.

Cassie’s Testi-Kill X-ray also drains power, but I hardly ever see anyone survive it and if they did why would they want to?

What’s good about her?
Cassie has high stats across the board but her real power is on offense with her ability to blow right past an opponent’s block. Air assault is one of the most devastating attacks in the game. I’m sure there are faster characters, but Cassie is no slouch either.

What’s the downside?
As a Kombat Pack exclusive she can be difficult to fuse with other cards, which may keep her as a lesser member of your roster later in the game. Glow kick is nothing to write home about and is merely so-so.

Overall?
She’s one of the strongest characters in the game with an awesome passive that benefits her and her teammates. Combine that with one of the most powerful special attacks in the game and she is a near unstoppable force.

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Customer Service 101 and Software Development

I’ve been in the software field the entire 21st Century. I spent most of that time as someone who supplied products to other countries. I either wrote them, maintained them, or ran the teams responsible for writing, maintaining, testing, and/or supporting said software. I have learned a lot of lessons about what it takes to sell software and I understand the value of sometimes giving away something for free.

So when people tell me Free to Play (F2P) games are “free” and we deserve nothing I disagree. When you set expectations then it’s reasonable for me as the customer for you to either deliver on your promises or explain why you won’t. It really is that simple. If I am paying nothing for your software, it is actually reasonable to back out of an idea if you feel it won’t pay off. It is not reasonable to utterly fail at communicating with your customers.

Which is what has been going on with almost all of Warner Bros. mobile games right now. They even have an official forum, but there has been no information. Last night after much waiting and dealing with incredible bugs and exploits, an update was released for Mortal Kombat X Mobile. You would think that their hot new game would be a huge priority, but there has been radio silence from WB. Furthermore, in the update notes they tease a challenge that has been advertised since day one. Why tease a challenge if you are still not going to release it? The people who have been playing the game have been waiting for this to be released for over a month now and you make a statement like it will finally be live and it still is not? If you fixed it what are you waiting for?

The ongoing lack of communication has left players to speculate, and a bunch of people sitting around speculating isn’t going to devise scenarios that will reflect well on the company.

I pride myself in supporting games I enjoy playing. I WILL spend money on things I enjoy. It is this kind of behavior that makes me believe the F2P bubble is going to pop because at some point people will tire of being treated so poorly while also being asked to support these games after the fact. I already have games I play that I refuse to give money to because the company hasn’t shown me the value I would get for the cash. There are other games I refuse to play simply because I don’t want to increase their stats and make them think they have a viable business model. I may be one small voice in the wilderness but I will at least stand on principle.

I can look elsewhere for my entertainment. I really hope WB doesn’t give me a reason to go and do just that.

Injustice vs. Mortal Kombat X – Faction Wars

This is my final entry on Injustice vs. Mortal Kombat X.

I’m just going to get this out of the way, if you don’t like multi-player in Injustice you’re not going to find a lot to love about Faction Wars. They are essentially the exact same.

There are a few differences. You earn points for your Faction and each Faction earns rewards based on how they do each “Season”. You not only earn rewards for ranking in the leaderboards but also for how well your Faction does and where you placed overall in your own Faction. That sounds like a lot of rewards and it can be a decent payoff even when you’re not that active and your Faction doesn’t perform well, but it’s still not anymore compelling to play than Injustice.

The Faction Wars scheme doesn’t work as well as it could because you don’t feel very involved. You don’t feel like you have a direct impact on your Faction and there is no real motivation to help. Either you’re motivated to play because you want to rank up like in Injustice or you’re not. There should have been a better tie-in to how your actions affect the bigger picture.

One nice touch though is that you no longer have to go through the “Connecting” screen everytime you touch something in multi-player. That is the most annoying trait of Injustice and I’m glad they did away with it.

Injustice vs. Mortal Kombat X – Character Progression

In many ways, character progression in Mortal Kombat X is the same as Injustice. You can level a character up to 50 and you can further promote them by “fusing” them with the same character card for an even more powerful card. The max fusion level is 7, the same as the max elite level is 7 in Injustice.

Experience is gained by completing battles, either in multi-player or single-player. So far, everything is the same.

Where it begins to differ somewhat is how experience is awarded. Like Injustice, you get less experience if the difference between your character card and your opponent is too great. The drop off is less extreme than in Injustice but is made up for in other ways. Although I wasn’t watching the bronze, it appears that the amount of experience needed to level up a silver card to 50 is less than a gold. This is yet another way the game distinguishes its gold tier from the earlier game. Considering how powerful a gold card can come and how a fusion level of 7 can mean any gold card can solo through single-player it makes some sense that golds are more difficult to level up.

However, the flip side to all of that is the presence of Level-Up Cards. Unique to MKX, there are cards that level up your character and give them an equal proportion of experience at the next level. So, for example, if you have 51% of the experience you need to get to the next level, when using a level-up card it leaves you at 51% of the next level, which is quite a gain since it appears each level requires more experience to get than the last. The real value of these cards is reducing some of the grind that Injustice became notorious for. Accumulated and used at the right time and you can get your favorite card to the top levels quickly rather than endlessly grinding them. In turn, this have given me the opportunity to utilize more of my roster rather than my old standard of focusing on one card in particular to get them maxed out.

Overall, this is a relatively minor game change but a nice change all the same.

Injustice vs. Mortal Kombat X – Gears vs. Equipment

It’s no surprise that MKX has a gear equivalent in the game. Basically, character equipment is the same thing as gears and like Injustice some equipment gives a bonus when used by a specific character.

What changes is that all characters have all 3 slots unlocked from the beginning. However, the slots are divided into a weapon, armor, and accessory slot. So while you can equip three items from the start, they must be of three different types.

The effects of equipment are largely the same as gears, giving various bonuses to abilities, increased power generation, etc. No real difference here. Weapons tend to give offensive bonuses, armor tends to give defensive bonuses, though both categories may vary somewhat. Accessories are all over the map in terms of the type of bonus it can give you.

The most notable change is that it costs nothing to upgrade equipment. Have two of the same thing, it is automatically fused for a more powerful version and the max is a fusion level of 10. On the other hand, this means you can’t break equipment down and upgrade something else. You can ONLY upgrade equipment if you find a double of it. Also, there are no packs for equipment. Instead, Kombat and Kard packs may draw equipment.

Overall, I like this system better. It’s more logical, less punishing, and simpler without being less effective.

Just continuing to fall behind

I’m short on time this week and a short week last week messed me up as well. In short, I’m not going to have anything done today. I do have a lot in progress.

Injustice vs. Mortal Kombat X Series
– Equipment vs. Gears
– Character Progression
– Faction Wars

After those three entries are posted that series will be done.

For Character Spotlights I have the following in the works –
Cassie Cage – Covert Ops
Kenshi – Possessed

I do have plans to revisit the Bronze and Silver characters as I go as well. More than likely Saurian will be popping up soon and Jacqui or Jax Briggs. However, none of those are started.

Character Spotlight – Mournful Kitana

char_kitm01Just the facts –

Kitana – Mournful
Gold Tier
Faction: Outworld
Passive: Outworld Rebellion – All outworld teammates start with 1 bar of power
Attacks:
1 – Uplift
2 – Staff Smash
X – Slice and Dice

970 Attack
840 Health
800 Toughness
930 Recovery
100% Power Gen

Cost: 300
Found In: Kombat Pack, Kard Pack(?)

kit2

What’s it all mean?
Not only does Kitana’s passive give her Outworld teammates a bar of power to start, but she receives it as well. This means she can immediately execute her first special attack. Uplift does decent damage and also drains power, but it will never take out an opponent. Staff Smash hits for hard damage but also won’t take out an opponent. If anyone survives her X-Ray attack, they will be blinded afterwards.

What’s good about her?
She may not be the fastest fighter but her basic attacks have a chance to be a block breaker. Considering her first special is already charged and the chance to plow through a block, her uplift attack can be a huge edge. Also, Uplift drains more power than any other attack I’ve seen so far.

What’s the downside?
Neither Uplift of Staff Smash will KO an opponent. You’ll take their health down to the point they can take one more hit, maybe two depending on who the hitter is. This can be a bit frustrating if their health is already drained. This will sound odd, but she’s not a slow character but her combos are, which means they are easily interrupted.

Overall?
As my first gold character, the Mournful version of Kitana has been a great part of my roster. Befitting my fighting style, she is a purely offensive character able to drain power and knock out a good chunk of the opponent’s health bar. Strong on her own, she’s good on an Outworld team where her passive gives an immediate advantage. Her overall slow speed and lack of specials that outright KO an opponent make her a lousy finisher unless you have her X-Ray attack charged.