Mortal Kombat 11 is splitting enhanced specials, defensive options, and supers into separate resources

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • January 19, 2019 at 7:29 p.m. PST

It has been revealed that some of Mortal Kombat 11's mechanics will create a unique experience from what was provided by Mortal Kombat 9 and Mortal Kombat X. In particular, alterations to the meter management will be very different at high level play.

This is because Mortal Kombat 11 has split the meter into three separate resources. There are unique meters for enhanced specials and defensive tactics. In addition to this, using a character's fatal blow — which are similar to x-ray attacks in previous entries — will no longer deplete your ability to use enhanced specials or combo breakers.

In Mortal Kombat 9 and X, x-ray attacks were extremely seldom in high level play. Generally, competitors only made use of this expensive attack as a game ending option because combo breakers could not be triggered.

That's because the opportunity cost was too steep. Simply put, enhanced specials and combo breakers were just better in most situations. Using an x-ray attack would just cut off access to the better options.

In addition to this, meter for enhanced specials and defensive options will gradually fill up over time regardless of the actions that are being performed. There's no longer an incentive that awards a play meter upon landing the first hit of a match.

The game's dynamics will change quite drastically as a result of these new mechanics.


Click image for animated version

Notice that there's no meter for the fatal blow attacks. This will become available while a character's life is at 30% or less.

Having said that, you don't want to just throw these out at the first opportunity. Like crushing blows, these can only be utilized once per match. Not every round, but every match.

Don't worry though, this rule will only kick in if you land the attack. If the attack whiffs or is blocked, then it'll go into a cooldown period. You'll be able to utilize the attack again after it expires.

Previously, it wasn't possible (outside of the training mode) to perform a combo that was extended thanks to an enhanced special that ended with a super attack. With the two mechanics now separated from one another, these will be possible.

The defensive meter will allow players to roll forward or backwards upon wake up. This isn't a guaranteed escape option, but it's something the opponent will have to keep in mind during okizeme situations.

As for interactables, these will now require defensive meter in order to use. If you want armor, then you'll need to spend a bar of offense meter and a bar of defense meter.

Combo breakers will no longer reset everything back into a neutral state. Instead of pushing the opponent away from you, your character will now simply fast fall to the ground during juggles.

With these changes, the opportunity cost for enhanced specials are now only other enhanced specials, while defensive options only prevent future defensive options, and fatal blows will actually be usable.

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