In recent years, fighting game tournaments and eSports events have grown in both popularity and public notoriety. In part, that’s because a video game tournament works just like any other sport, making it easy for casual fans to watch: players qualify for a place in the starting bracket, and then face off against competitors, with wins propelling them into later rounds. Ultimately, the tournament organizers crown a single champion, who walks away with the title and, sometimes, a cash prize.
However, unlike other sports, video games have their own quirks, one of which is character balance. To give every competitor a fair shot at winning, fighting game characters should be as evenly matched as possible; let the players’ skills determine who wins, not the characters they choose.
While developers spend a lot of resources to make sure that fighting games’ rosters are fair and balanced, sometimes unforseen issues arise, giving certain characters an unfair advantage over the competition. To wit: at the annual Combo Breaker tournament, currently taking place in Chicago and offering thousands of dollars worth of prizes, competitors discovered an exploit for one of Mortal Kombat X‘s most popular characters, which threatens to derail the entire competitive scene.
Players discovered a bug in favorite Mortal Kombat fighter Kung Lao that allows players to fill one bar of the character’s ability meter – which is used to unleash special attacks – by performing a certain move. After the character is knocked down by an opponent, players can perform a “wake up teleport,” which makes Kung Lao instantly teleport to the other side of the screen. Doing this fills one bar of the ability meter each time it’s used. That gives Kung Lao a powerful advantage, and the only solution is banning the character entirely: the glitch appears in all three of the character’s combat variations.
While other tournaments have yet to weigh in regarding Kung Lao’s eligibility, Combo Breaker will not ban Kung Lao, although an event referee will monitor matches for any potential abuses. These referees will decide whether or not players are abusing this exploit, and whether they should be disqualified from the tournament. At the moment, this glitch has not resulted in any easy wins for Kung Lao players, which is why Combo Breaker continues to allow the character to be used.
Kung Lao is not the first character in Mortal Kombat X to come with an ability meter glitch. Ermac currently has two bugs which allows players to manipulate the meters in different ways. One sacrifices a single bar of Ermac’s meter, and drains Ermac’s opponent’s meter entirely. In the other, playes can fill one bar of meter by using Ermac’s Spectral variation to execute the levitate and air blast moves. Mortal Kombat developer NetherRealm is currently working to fix both of these exploits.
Although Mortal Kombat X has been available for over a month, NetherRealm Studios is steadily pumping new content into the game to keep the fanbase happy. In addition to the next DLC character, Tanya, who is due out shortly, NetherRealm will also release new DLC costumes featuring classic Mortal Kombat 1 outfits for Liu Kang, Sonya, and Kano, and Brazil inspired skins for a few additional fighters. In the game’s latest update, Reptile recieved his classic green ninja outfit, and NetherRealm added a new brutality move utilizing the background character affectionately known as Blanche.
What do you guys think of this news? Have any of you experienced this glitch or other unfair behavior online while playing the game?
Mortal Kombat X is now available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. It’s coming sometime this summer for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Source: Combo Breaker Twitter