Tower Guide Update

It’s not a major update today, but the Tower Guide is starting to get updated. Today’s update adds the map page and labels which towers are 1 through 5.

Tower Guide

Coming soon will be opponent lists for each tower as well as tower effects.

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Who will the next challenge be for Mortal Kombat X Mobile?

Well, the Raiden challenge is over and the question is, who is next?

My money is on Erron Black. Why? Because he’s confirmed to already exist in the code somewhere. Granted, all I know is from a 3rd party and it’s just a name that pops up looking through game files. It doesn’t mean everything is there for the character, but it’s the only name we don’t have currently on the roster.

Prior to that, the only other name in the files was Kung Lao, except he’s been released and in two different forms. Well, ignoring the fact they seem to have forgotten to actually include either version in the Kombat Pack.

The real question is, will they keep rotating challenges one after the other like Injustice and WWE Immortals or are there still enough problems that players will be on a forced break until another update?

Even then, IF Erron Black is coded already that still leaves just him and no one else available for challenges. Which means at best we’ll get his challenge and then Netherrealm will have to do another update for us to get further challenges. This is not unusual for the other games I mentioned, but update releases for MKX have been, well, inconsistent to say the least.

This is all pure speculation at this point. I am still eager to see who is next and despite how simple the last challenge was I will never pass up adding another character to my collection.

Character Showdown – Sub-Zero

The time has come! Let’s answer the question of what the difference is between the Sub-Zeros and who is the best? To save myself some typing please note the abbreviations below and the links to the original Character Spotlights

Lin Kuei – LK

Sub-Zero – SZ

Cryomancer Sub-Zero – CSZ

Grandmaster Sub-Zero – GSZ

We’re including LK in this because he is basically just the cannon fodder version of Sub-Zero.

How are they the same?

All Sub-Zeros have a similar move set though the combo finisher often varies.

All Sub-Zeros are part of the Martial Artist team.

With the exception of LK, all Sub-Zeros have Ice Ball as their 1st special attack. Even LK has a weaker, non-freezing, version of Ice Ball.

LK, SZ, and CSZ all have team health boosts for Martial Artists.

CSZ and GSZ share the same X-Ray Attack.

Round 1 – Stats

GSZ wins handily with the highest overall stats. Then the order is CSZ, SZ, and LK. No surprises here, Gold will always be stronger than Bronze. However, compared to CSZ, GSZ has the overall higher power stats (Health and Attack) while also having overall higher average stats (Health, Attack, Toughness, and Recovery). It’s no contest.

Round 2 – Tier Standing

So what about how they fare in individual tiers (Gold, Silver, Bronze). For Sub-Zero it’s almost the same order. LK has a four way tie with the lowest stats in the Bronze Tier. SZ ties with Jacqui Briggs for power stats and is the third lowest overall average. CSZ is about the middle of the Gold characters while GSZ is near the top. That makes GSZ the winner of this round, followed by CSZ, SZ, and LK.

Round 3 – Special Attacks

Again, GSZ wins this round. Klone Toss does massive damage and is essentially unblockable. If it doesn’t outright obliterate its target then at the very least they will be left severely weakened and if GSZ gets his X-Ray attack off he’ll have a defense bonus afterwards.

CSZ is a close second. Cold-Blooded is a grapple attack, which makes it unblockable, and it’s very stylish as well. CSZ shares the same X-Ray attack and defense bonus.

SZ comes in third but only because of his third special attack, something the bronze tier doesn’t have. Otherwise his special attacks are nothing great and he shares Ice Ball with everyone else.

LK loses here because of lacking a third special, but for his tier his second special attack is actually decent.

Round 4 – Passives

I’m giving this one to CSZ. While everyone except GSZ gives health bonus, CSZ gives the most and it’s a hefty 30% increase to health for Martial Artist teammates. That’s a good boost.

SZ comes next with a 15% health boost. Why SZ before GSZ? I’ll explain in a moment.

GSZ can essentially resurrect with his “Ice Decoy” but it’s a passive I care for the least. It’s good for maybe recovering from a mistake but it’s an extremely defensive passive that I find less than useful for most modes. It’s best use is maybe on a defensive team in Faction Wars, otherwise it’s something I’d rather not rely on. However, he doesn’t come in last because of LK.

LK actually comes in last because a 5% health increase is next to worthless. It’s maybe one extra hit and even at the bronze tier it’s not useful because health stats are so low to begin with.

Round 5 – Value

CSZ wins this round handily. His base cost is 275 souls and he does pop up in the Kombat Pack, which means he can be had for 150 souls or less if the Kombat Pack remains on sale. However, he also shows up in the Kard Pack, though he’s rare. That means he can be had for as low as 30,000 Koins! Considering he is a decent gold pull, that’s an extreme value.

Next up is actually LK. He’s as cheap as bronze cards get and he has the appropriate stats to show for it. However, he does pop up in Alliance Packs from time-to-time meaning he can be found for 500 Alliance Points. In my mind, Alliance Points are the cheapest of the 3 currencies, making LK one of the best values for your virtual buck.

Coming in next is GSZ, who is a whopping 330 souls if you buy him outright. He’s top tier so he might be worth it, however he also shows up in the Kombat Pack, which would still cost less than half his base total regardless of whether or not the Kombat Pack is on sale.

Last is SZ, whose base cost is only 35,000 Koins but he’s bottom tier and it shows. Plus if you pull him in a Kard Pack you are only saving 5,000 Koins.

Overall –

Let’s tally the scores

Cryomancer Sub-Zero (CSZ) – Winner in Round 4 and 5 with 4 points for each round. 2nd place for Rounds 1, 2, and 3 with 3 points for each.

CSZ Total – 17 points

Grandmaster Sub-Zero (GSZ) – Winner in Round 1, 2, and 3 with 4 points per round. 3rd place in Round 4 and 5 with 2 points per round.

GSZ Total – 16 points

Sub-Zero (SZ) –  2nd place in Round 4 with 3 points for that round. 3rd Place in Rounds 1, 2, and 3 with 2 points each. Last place in Round 5 with only 1 point to show for it.

SZ Total – 10 points.

Lin Kuei (LK) – 2nd place in Round 5 with 3 points for that round. Last place in Rounds 1, 2, 3, and 4 with 1 point each.

LK Total – 7 points.

CSZ wins overall by providing a better value and a better team boost. He’s a strong all-round character who comes in solidly middle tier for a gold character. He’ll be quicker to fuse than GSZ, which means you’re more likely to have a stronger CSZ in the short-term than GSZ.

GSZ simply has the best stats, best standing, and best moves. He’s the only non-team booster but his passive is specialized and less useful which prevents him from sweeping all categories. GSZ is a good defender in Faction Wars and a decent attacker but is more specialized than CSZ. Even unfused, once he’s levelled up he can solo most towers in Battle Mode.

SZ is just a weaker Silver tier character who doesn’t even provide a very good value. He provides a decent boost to a Martial Artist team but that’s about it.

LK doesn’t quite sweep the bottom for all rounds but comes close. He’s one of the weaker bronze characters without much to show for it but does provide a decent value.

Catching obvious hackers

This is mostly directed at Mortal Kombat X Mobile (MKX), but it really applies to anything on the same engine as Injustice: Gods Among Us Mobile (IGAU), which would also include WWE Immortals.

For those in the know, MKX is running a modified Unreal Engine as it’s base software. Specifically, it is running on the same foundation as Injustice but with some different tweaks and some rather significant changes. However, the base of it is the same.

Injustice used to not have multiplayer. It was designed as a single-player only game and it was entirely installed on your device. Challenge characters are already in the code and new ones are pushed via updates. The only benefit to being online was for the daily rewards and for being able to receive the challenge “push” from Warner Bros. (WB)

At some point they tacked on Multi-player and there was an immediate problem. People were already hacking the game to give themselves everything and multi-player based off of local files just meant those same people could continue using their hacked game for on-line matches.

This causes a conundrum for figuring out who is legit and who is not. Someone who spent a lot of money or played a lot may well have a topped out roster. However, some hackers are not able to stop themselves and do things that shouldn’t be possible.

An intern could code something so simple as an autoban system that stopped players whose cards were above level 51, promoted beyond 7, or had any of their stats beyond what is the max for their level and promotion.

What I don’t understand is how the current system doesn’t ban people until the end of the season, which just skews the results, and how they are banning legit players. One of the autoban features apparently decides you have “modified files”, which is a dangerous way to determine someone should be banned since there are many ways file dates can be changed or be made to look different even if the end user is unaware anything changed.

Yet while legitimate players are sometimes caught in this net, obvious hackers are allowed to persist? Why?

If I were a cynic I would guess because there is money to be made having legit players trying to compete with hackers. It’s an ugly assumption and I’m not saying it is true, but with a simple solution to making sure we don’t see Level 99 Promoted to 10 players why aren’t they implementing what would be the easiest of fixes?

Thoughts on the Raiden Challenge

Assuming they will release the Raiden challenge soon, here’s my take on it.

For starters, it was easy. I completed all 5 stages within 45 minutes. Granted, I have a big roster so I didn’t have to wait for anyone to recharge, but completing it shouldn’t be a problem.

Frankly, it was a little too easy and over too soon. Injustice and Immortals offer 3 different tiers (Normal, Expert, and Nightmare) where Raiden was just one.

Considering how easy it is to acquire silver characters, I’m surprised there was no “Must have {insert character name here} to complete” challenges. For the initial challenge they could have just picked one of the cheaper characters. Maybe have Cassie Cage and then if you have Covert Ops Cassie Cage you could use her as well.

I really do appreciate Raiden being purchasable with Koins instead of Souls. I hope this is how they are going to do all future challenge characters. I think it gives people much more incentive to keep playing if they can expand their gold roster without spending premium currency.

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.