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Ayano: The most difficult part about working on Ultra Street Fighter 4 is trying to please everybody in regards to character balance

Posted by Catalyst
December 12, 2013 at 10:52 a.m. PST
Ayano: The most difficult part about working on Ultra Street Fighter 4 is trying to please everybody in regards to character balance Capcom Japan's Tomoaki Ayano showed up at the Ultra Street Fighter 4 location test in Taiwan to discuss some of the approaches the development team is taking with the new update to the SF4 series.

Speaking through a translator, DM|Zhi, Ayano was asked what the most difficult aspect has been during production of USF4.

"Battle balance, like any ecosystem in the environment, once you remove a character or an animal, the whole system falls apart," said Ayano.

"Every day they're doing battle balance, doing little specific changes for the characters, and if you do one thing incorrectly, there will be a lot of people with their opinions and they will come and find you. That is the most difficult thing, to please everybody," he added.

Hit the jump to read on.

On the subject of how they're trying to attract new users to the Street Fighter 4 series, Ayano said they're hoping the new mechanics do the job.

"The philosophy behind Ultra Street Fighter 4 to attract new users is not only to do a simple balance change, which has been done many times, but to introduce new mechanics into the game," he said, such as red focus, delayed wake up and the double ultra combo setup.

Asked why they use a W character to signify the double ultra mechanic Ayano said that it's actually Japanese word play, but it's also very symmetrical, and when you look at the gauge it splits up evenly into two.

Source: Day one Taiwan PS3 Ultra Street Fighter 4 location test stream.

Comments

MCZ_Ryu said on December 12, 2013 at 10:54 a.m.

It's confirmed. Even the trolls and stream monsters stress out the developers.

#1
TheTHCGamer said on December 12, 2013 at 11:02 a.m.

You of course want to make your fan base happy but if they stress out over trolls/stream monsters then that's there own fault. They won't even notice a lot of the changes that are made and if they do those changes won't effect them much. There comes a time when you as a developer have to understand those same players are probably going to complain regardless. Right now I feel SSFIV AE is pretty balanced as far as fighting games go and there trying to make it even more balanced.

#2
Quakeulf said on December 12, 2013 at 11:04 a.m.

I want to see the rest of the Hawk-buffs before accepting any more lies about the game being fair and balanced.

#3
samuraikatana1 said on December 12, 2013 at 11:06 a.m.

While I agree listening to the monsters too much can be a bad thing, you have to remember they are a primary part of the consumer base. If they are ignored sales will go down. On the subject of AE being balanced I'm going to disagree. There are too many neutered characters right now. What I really wish Capcom would do is not nerf anyone and just buff the people who need it.

#4
jaysenedwinward said on December 12, 2013 at 11:11 a.m.

Increase hitbox on Bison's hell attack (so he can benefit from the juggle buff) and I think every one of the angry Bison's will never be heard from again.

I think they are doing an excellent job so far. I actually don't want to see T. Hawk become amazing unless they do so with more tools. If they just make him really strong with his current tiny tool box it will be SOOOOOOOO herpy derpy it would be unbearable.

#5
Existent said on December 12, 2013 at 11:11 a.m.

None of this should be any surprise, but people should remember that they're trying as hard as they can. Fourty four balanced characters in a 2D game is unheard of.

#6
azik21 said on December 12, 2013 at 11:13 a.m.

Hmm and I assumed since the beginning that the "W" was just roman numerals I+II

#7
I_Are_RaBBiT said on December 12, 2013 at 11:13 a.m.

Personally, I've never seen a fighting game where every character is high level tournament viable like ArcSys Guilty Gear series have done. If Ultra SF4 can pull off something along those same lines then this is gonna be an AMAZING game! I really hope that, alongside the fan's input, Capcom will get this spot on!

Off subject: watching Hugo get torn to shreds by Poison on that stream today made me very VERY sad indeed... :-(

#8
sarif2soon said on December 12, 2013 at 11:23 a.m.

It's not difficult: Buff everyone who needs it.
Those who complain about the top tiers do so because their characters can't face the top tiers.
Nerfing those characters on top will make low tier players happy but at the same time it'll piss off the others and it'll just flip the tier list upside-down. Meaning the cycle will start over again.

So why not simply buff everyone who needs it?
(I know that this statement overly simplified)

Here's an analogy: Imagine playing against a top player and you lose to them 99% of the time. What do you do? Do you tie one of their arms behind their back to make it a fair fight, or do you yourself try to become better?

#9
ReddChief said on December 12, 2013 at 11:26 a.m.

Ignoring the monsters the trolls sale will go down lol NO listen to the people who actually have the game who plays the game and love it listen to the pro players the monsters and trolls are sheep and will follow

If people stop buying and playing this game because they didn't buff or nerf something nobody would be playing this game you can't please everybody the players will still play and the trolls will keep trolling

#10
Existent said on December 12, 2013 at 11:31 a.m.

That's an unrelated comparison. It doesn't matter if an individual character is strengthened or weakened. What matters is how every character interacts with every other character at the end result. And if it wasn't difficult, every single FG ever released with genuine effort behind it would be balanced. Balance is not even remotely as simple as you believe.

#11
bagel_bytez said on December 12, 2013 at 11:32 a.m.

Very simple, top tier ppl are disappointed while low tier characters are generally happy. I picked a mid bottom tier character so there's no way to go but up :)

#12
Xul said on December 12, 2013 at 11:40 a.m.

(This user was banned.)

#13
Red_Gambit said on December 12, 2013 at 11:45 a.m.

Wait, people don't get W? I assumed it was pretty obvious...I mean, say it phonetically and you get "Double U" which is Double Ultra.

#14
Captainbuttocks said on December 12, 2013 at 11:46 a.m.

Ayano: We are giving Seth a Ninja Turtle costume and sticking him in as the new training dummy. You are welcome.

#15
Bui said on December 12, 2013 at 11:53 a.m.

Indeed. Player feed back, not player preference, is needed to perfect the game. Only because many players are able to commit the time and have the capability to test and achieve things that developers and their testers usually miss.

#16
Super_Honda said on December 12, 2013 at 11:54 a.m.

This just proves that Capcom are somewthat desperate. Anything, especially fighting games, you will have people voicing their own opinions and you can never please everyone. In fact, when you come to think of it, each individual will have some level of hate from other people, whether it is low level or high levels of hate. Forget the delusional stream monsters and those who bash at anything for no reason (apart from those who are sarcastic) and they don't think and reflect on what they say. Anyway, Capcom shouldn't worry too much about certain people who may disagree with the balance of a game like USF4 and focus on their work.

I'm one of those who disagrees with the direction that Capcom is going with the SF4 series because adding more mechanics into a near 6 year old series is kinda irrelevant if you look at the history of the main SF series. Apart from HD Remix and Hyper SF2, NO SF series had lasted more than 3 years, let alone hitting 6 years. Speaking of 6 years, that's how long it took for Capcom to release a proper SF2 sequel. Last version of SF4 was released in 2011 so it's kinda unreasonable for Capcom to put themselves under a lot of pressure over a series that was first made in 2008. That being said, I do give them a credit for putting a lot of hard work in making USF4 a great game, regardless of my views.

#17
sarif2soon said on December 12, 2013 at 12:04 p.m.

Read the title. what's difficult is pleasing everyone. Have everyone's characters be viable and strong and you'll have no complaints.
I never said that balancing is easy nor simple, I'm saying that it'll be easier to achieve something close to it if the developers stopped nerfing the tops and started dealing with the lows and mids alone.

#18
Lordd_G said on December 12, 2013 at 12:19 p.m.

I say let them keep nerfing Lord Bison, I will still body noobs with him online anyday!!

#19
Existent said on December 12, 2013 at 12:23 p.m.

I don't know why I'm bothering here but explain "It's not difficult, buff everyone who needs it."?
What are you trying to say? That it's hard to balance, but it's easy to please people by balancing it?
The only way to please everyone is to perfectly balance everything.
Perfectly balancing everything is nearly impossible.
I don't understand what else you're trying to communicate.

#20
shoryuken78 said on December 12, 2013 at 12:31 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

#21
krls said on December 12, 2013 at 12:35 p.m.

For those that don't get the W: Daburu U -> Double U -> Double Ultra

#22
MALDA_IS_BACK said on December 12, 2013 at 12:39 p.m.

LOL no just thing of a balance fighting game deal with it.

#23
djm0001 said on December 12, 2013 at 12:54 p.m.

brack friday bunduru

#24
bahamutknightzero said on December 12, 2013 at 12:56 p.m.

Oh the common misconception that only making small changes to the top tier will make things perfect, when in reality it creates further balancing needs to the entire roster. Balancing is not as easy as people think it is

#25
djm0001 said on December 12, 2013 at 1:02 p.m.

A lot of people probably don't realize that with balancing a character, it's also sometimes redefining the character as a whole. The developers have a specific goal for the character when they pick nerfs and buffs and, like everything in life, what you see on paper isn't always what you get in real life. A potential nerf may actually be put in place to stop players from using a specific move so often, not to make it weaker but rather because its not intended to be part of his general strategy.

Some moves on characters will always seem godlike or garbage, it's just part of their character and as a player you need to learn to optimize yourself for their current tool set.

#26
Captainbuttocks said on December 12, 2013 at 1:05 p.m.

A game will never be balanced. They have tried so many times. What makes this time any different?

They always over nerf or over buff.

#27
BlightedAgent said on December 12, 2013 at 1:09 p.m.

Having the game balanced as your main priority is really great. However, people have got to adapt to it, if there is one single problem. The Internet loves to complain about the smallest thing.

#28
BlackMasamune said on December 12, 2013 at 1:32 p.m.

Maybe it would be easier to do if you took this approach the first time you updated the game.

#29
sickyut said on December 12, 2013 at 2:22 p.m.

true that ayano but good luck

#30
UncleBibby said on December 12, 2013 at 2:45 p.m.

Hey Ayano, just make T.Hawk's Ultra 2 have an easier command and a better hitbox, and make his Condor Spire safer on hit, and leave it at that. T.Hawk doesn't need anything else. Give everyone else huge buffs; as long as i have my T.Hawk i can do just fine.

#31
soggytoast said on December 12, 2013 at 2:48 p.m.

I'm really concerned now. You cannot have a balanced game that will please everybody. If you just listen to everyone, you're going to be handing out buffs like candy and the game is just going to get real stupid really fast.

We saw what happened with Injustice. They let the pros try to balance the game before release, and the balance ended up being relatively poor for many months.

You can't have people that are trying to win also try to balance the game. It just doesn't work. There's a conflict of interest there.

#32
ShadowGeno said on December 12, 2013 at 2:52 p.m.

But the truth is .. you can´t please everybody lol

#33
Eye_of_Orochi said on December 12, 2013 at 3:04 p.m.

Certainly didn't aim to please Cammy fans at all. She just needed a stun and damage nerf and a hitbox adjustment on Cannon Strike. Capcom went overboard as usual due to overwhelming complaints. I'll just be using Cammy in casuals unless they revert some of these nerfs that will make Cammy a lot less interesting to play.

Just know whiners, a new top tier WILL emerge. That is why I don't understand the need to cry nerf when you should be more focused on your own characters for buffs. Sadly, players would rather have other people adjust to nerfs while they just get buffs that make it even easier to play.

#34
hijahijo said on December 12, 2013 at 3:12 p.m.

Trying to please everybody will disappoint everyone.

#35
SonicfanQ said on December 12, 2013 at 3:26 p.m.

sigh... just buff gouken more lol

#36
Xykes said on December 12, 2013 at 3:47 p.m.

"While I agree listening to the monsters too much can be a bad thing, you have to remember they are a primary part of the consumer base."

No they aren't.

A vast majority of the MILLIONS of people who have purchased SF games have probably never even typed a single word in a stream chat.

Don't overestimate the influence of the squeakiest wheel. It's not necessarily the majority.

I can't repeat this enough. STREAM CHAT =/= ACCURATE REPRESENTATION OF ACTUAL PLAYERS.

#37
Sage_Liebert said on December 12, 2013 at 4:59 p.m.

LOL now they get bodied by you guys for trying to please everyone. The depth you guy's go to try and make these guys seem like idiots and make yourselves feel like the real developers.

#38
meowmeowkittenz said on December 12, 2013 at 7:25 p.m.

So.... T Hawk will be getting that gun after all?

#39
Smorgasboard said on December 12, 2013 at 7:26 p.m.

"Remove an animal?"

Are they planning to remove Don?? Noooooooo

#40
darkcloudzzz said on December 12, 2013 at 7:57 p.m.

my current impression on the ultra build is like a government rescue plan. "the top ppl do not get affected much nor become worse off, the middle income ppl are all better off so the plan seems to be working to everyone outside, and the poor whom the rescue plan was originally designed for, get little to no help at all and become worse off cause everyone is getting richer"

#41
Keetro said on December 12, 2013 at 11:57 p.m.

that didn't really pan out with Guy tho

#42
Sasuga said on December 13, 2013 at 12:33 a.m.

To say thay it's difficult is pretty optimistic when it's really impossible.

#43
devilcuco said on December 13, 2013 at 8:50 a.m.

yun players are not pleased

#44
beemann said on February 27, 2014 at 1:16 p.m.

I think we are talking to the wrong people.
Just balance the freaking characters
We need true martial artist to make fighting games!
I'm not wasting my money on a unbalance character.

#45


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