Developers Detail the Balance in the New Injustice 2 Gear System
While some are calling the Injustice 2 gear system a bit unusual and possibly risky, the developers at NetherRealm Studios have other ideas. Details have finally emerged, after a preview event in Chicago, that should help clarify the system and its balances. But for those who are unaware, here is some background on the system.
The new Injustice 2 gear system is an additional booster to the characters base stats. Not only will players be able to level up, but the loot drop system will also grant items that they can add to their characters in order to boost one or more of the four attributes (strength, defense, health, and ability). To top it off, a full set of items from a particular collection will afford additional bonuses to the character that may increase range, power, or some other aspect of their abilities.
The benefits extend beyond the character’s stats and abilities as well, granting new visual effects for special moves, and more in-game currency (that can buy more gear). Not all of it is sunshine and rainbows, however, as some items may boost stats at the expense of others. The idea is to develop personal playsets or styles for different gear sets and mixes that will also reward players for spending time playing the game.
The fear among fans it that the Injustice 2 gear system will create a massive imbalance between veteran players and new or casual players. Another concern is that the gear may make it difficult or even impossible to balance the higher level gameplay. Developers at NetherRealm already considered this possibility themselves and have addressed the issues that may arise due to level gaps or other gear related problems.
Lead designer John Edwards and his team have created a myriad of solutions to these problems. The simplest among them would be to disable the stat boosts when playing online or off. This would render the gear strictly cosmetic and set stats to default levels. Edwards had this to say on the subject:
We imagine that will be primarily for high-level tournament players and things like that where you play ranked online. Even for the competitive modes where we allow stats to be active, both players have the option to disable that stuff.”
The second system in place would adjust the lower-level character so that their base stats are the same level as their opponent. This would even the playing field a bit while still allowing for unique gear abilities to remain in place. This part of the system would also allow players who worked hard for their gear feel as if they were enjoying the benefits of having it. The system can be shut down as well, allowing the lower level player to take that risk if they want. “Essentially we have lots of ways in the game to make sure that [gear] does not become an issue,” Edwards said.
Art director Steve Baron added that there are lots of different ways that players can attain new gear – Finishing boss fights, certain modes of play, and purchasing “Mother Boxes” with in-game currency earned as you play. These boxes and the gear will not cost real money, according to the team whose interest lies more in players engaging each other and the game to find out where they can get certain pieces of gear. The hope is that the Injustice 2 gear system gets players to explore more of the game.
Beyond the gear system, visual customization is also an important part of progression in the game. According to Baron, DC gave them a great deal of design freedom, allowing them to enlist a lot of classic elements from the comics. Edwards had this to say about the visual customization:
You don’t want to get so crazy where it’s goofy or doesn’t look like Batman should be wearing that. For super serious Batman stuff, he’s not going to have top hats and weird things like that. But for some of the characters, there is definitely some boundary-pushing. I’d say there are definitely some characters that it kind of fits on, like Harley. Some of that stuff is actually hilarious.”
Ultimately, it is looking like Injustice 2 is shaping up to be a more complex and involved game than the first one. With it’s May 16th release on PS4 and Xbox One, fans won’t have to wait long to explore all of the new features. The roster is expected to grow as well, ramping up the excitement for the next title in the franchise!
Are you looking forward to Injustice 2? What do you think about the new gear system? Join in on the conversation in the comment section below or start your own on our Disqus! As always, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for live gaming and entertainment news 24/7!
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