Ed Boon feels like Mortal Kombat 11's custom variation system won't work for the competitive scene but may have base variations for that purpose

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • January 20, 2019 at 7:32 p.m. PST

During Mortal Kombat 11's reveal event, we learned about the presence of Baraka, Skarlet, Sub-Zero, Sonya Blade, Liu Kang, Kung Lao, and newcomers Geras and Kronika. Kabal was also briefly teased within the blink of an eye. The character select screen features 25 slots — 18 that are blank.

We also had a chance to witness mechanical changes to the series like the Crushing Blow system and the changes to the meter. Mortal Kombat 11 will feature more than the three variations per character that Mortal Kombat X brought to the table.

More specifically, players will be able to customize and create their own variations by adjusting the number of available moves that each character has access to. Game Informer sat down with Ed Boon himself to talk about the custom variation system along with other topics.

When asked if Boon thinks that the competitive scene will tinker with the custom variation system, he stated that this probably won't happen as they aren't "regulation." This is very similar to Injustice 2's gear system.

"They want regulation. They want, 'these are your tools to work with, and there's no changing them,'" said Ed Boon. "So we knew this was more of a feature that the mass market would certainly love. But the competitive guys, they want a regulation pool table, a regulation basketball court."

Specifically, Boon noted that the whole point of competition is "to be getting better and better." Obviously the ability to customize gear or variations introduces too many variables for the competitive scene.

Injustice 2's gear also took too long to setup for them to be viable at major events. Inevitably, this system basically just amounted to cosmetics outside of the casual market. NetherRealm was well aware that this would be the case even before Injustice 2 was announced.

"The game will come with the 'regulation' versions of the character... I'm personally leaning towards having some base ones, certainly for competitive and tournaments." — Ed Boon

But there's no need to worry. It seems that NetherRealm Studios is also thinking about the competitive crowd just as much as the mass market.

Ed Boon mentioned that there are always going to be at least three base form variations to choose from for each fighter. "The game will come with the 'regulation' versions of the character... I'm personally leaning towards having some base ones, certainly for competitive and tournaments."

In addition to this, the three variations will encompass each character's entire moveset. "We don’t want to leave stuff out, so I imagine that’ll be the base three, and they’ll encompass all of what that character can possibly do," said Ed Boon.

In other words, it sounds as though Mortal Kombat 11 will utilize the three variations per character system that Mortal Kombat X was known for — at least as far as tournament and high level play is concerned. The custom variation system is mostly in place "for fun."

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