Is tier whoring more common than ever before due to pro gamers and should developers offer Street Fighter 5 balance patches more often?

EventHubs Podcast episode 87

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • January 22, 2020 at 7:57 p.m. PST

The times are certainly changing as monetary stakes at major fighting game events continue to rise and naturally usher professional players toward characters that are going to be the easiest to win with, but should we be concerned about "tier whoring," as it's commonly referred to in the FGC, given the current track we're on?

Especially with examples like iDom and his winning of Capcom Cup 2019 with a combination of mid-tiers Laura and Poison, it's clear the competitive space has not devolved into a top tier fest. That said, with as many Rashids we saw in Season 4 and Abigails, Cammys, and Menats of Season 3, it's worth considering if developers like Capcom should start making larger efforts to balance their games.

It's 2020 and the ability to regularly update and tweak modern video game titles is a given. We clearly saw an example of when regular patching goes too far with Mortal Kombat X a few years ago, but it seems as though we may be erring too far on the side of caution when it comes to Street Fighter 5 these days.

An approach that sees minor tweaks for egregious cases every two months or so might serve as a happy medium in this avenue. It would also provide a more immediate fix for when the same few characters start dominating tournament result pages.

Catalyst brings up the example of the highly-revered Street Fighter 3: Third Strike and how the top tiers of that game made so much of the roster completely unviable if you were in it to win it. CYG|Daigo himself has stated that he would have played Ryu instead of Ken had it not been for Chun-Li's strengths in 3S.

There isn't really a clear black and white answer to go with at this point, but it certainly is worth some discussion, which we have on this week's podcast episode. We also get into the current state of SF5, a response from Capcom about network issues, and the Smash Ultimate EVO Japan prize that has everyone talking.

Timestamps

00:40 - Is tier whoring bigger than ever in the competitive space?
26:43 - Why character balance is so important for variety
43:19 - Reactions to SF5's current state
1:04:19 - EVO Japan Smash Bros. prize

Editor's note: We've noticed the timestamps appear to change depending on the medium you're using to listen. The ones above may place you a few seconds before when each respective topic actually comes up.

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