Mortal Kombat 11 announced that the game will scale back the custom variation system that it had implemented on its online ranked play, according to part of the game's cover reveal for Game Informer. Mortal Kombat 11's custom variation system lets players choose different special moves to create a loadout closely in tune with their own playstyle, which adds depth to the way players go about their online play.
Mortal Kombat 11 is a massive release for developer NetherRealm Studios, and the company is treating it as such. Beyond getting recognizable celebrities like Ronda Rousey involved in Mortal Kombat 11's pre-launch proceedings, the game has also released a number of trailers that focus on elements of the series that are major selling points, such as fatalities and humor. Mortal Kombat 11's online ranked play has been less of a talking point when compared to the game's flashier bits, but the recent closed beta has brought digital multiplayer and balancing to the forefront.
NetherRealm announced as part of the Game Informer cover reveal for Mortal Kombat 11 that each character will have at least two pre-built variations for use at tournaments and during online ranked play. This has created some controversy for the game ahead of its launch, with many players criticizing the inability to be flexible with their character loadouts as a mistake in NetherRealm Studios' decision-making process. Lead designer John Edwards told Game Informer that Mortal Kombat 11's pre-built variations are deliberately designed, and will feature things that are meant to help balance gameplay. Here's what Edwards had to say about the deliberation process on Mortal Kombat 11's online ranked play:
"It's not like we just went, 'Oh, cool, these three things look cool, slap those in.' They are thought out and planned to create the best variety of gameplay within the system that we have."
The reason fans are already upset by this decision is because the closed beta offered some insight into default loadouts that players weren't happy with. Mortal Kombat 11's online ranked play featured a few pre-built options for each character that missed some of their best moves, so many fans began to customize them as time went on and they got more familiar with the game. This won't be an option in the game once it releases, however, leading many to point out that the restrictions will water down and homogenize the online gameplay experience and tournament metas once players begin figuring out the game in earnest.
With that said, however, balancing a bunch of different moveset options for every character in the game also sounds like the kind of nightmare that would lead to some wild early tournaments. Mortal Kombat 11's online ranked play and tournament settings need to have at least some stability to sell potential pros on pursuing the game, and it makes sense for NetherRealm Studios to limit the amount of variation the game has at the beginning of its existence. The studio also left open the possibility of changing the pre-built variations based on community feedback, so it sounds like Mortal Kombat 11 will just be focusing on having a good, solid online play experience to start before potentially releasing a chaotic, more diverse customization system into the wild at a later date.
Source: Game Informer