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SOULCALIBUR VI – EVO Japan 2019 Community Q&A

The SoulCalibur VI development team answers some burning questions from the community that they didn’t manage to get to during the Q&A session that took place during EVO Japan 2019.

We’ve compiled them here for your reading pleasure. If you’re interested to find out more about future developments, be sure to give it a read!


[GENERAL QUESTIONS]

Q1.) We need you to share more information with us about DLC and upcoming characters!

Creation Parts Set A has been released on February 19. Amy is planned for the next DLC. We would like to release as quickly as possible in the future. Amy’s development is at the final stages. We are planning to release the remaining 3 DLCs by end of this Summer.

Q2.) Please put the controller setups on the character select screen for offline modes.

The internal implementation and testing are underway. We are doing our best to implement it as quickly as possible.

Q3.) Please balance the difficulty of the Libra of Soul mode.

Partial adjustment has been done on February 18. We will consider other adjustments if necessary in the future.

Q4.) The rate at which Soul Points are earned is too slow. This is especially detrimental for players who do not play online.

Partial adjustment has already been done on February 18, Version 1.20. We will consider other adjustments as necessary in the future.

Q5.) Please bring back modes and features that were included in previous entries such as “Team Battle”, “Battle Theatre” and “Voice Test”.

As fans of the series, we understand your request. At the moment, we would like to prioritise the improvement of other features.

Q6.) Please give us more single-player content as DLC. We want additional Soul Chronicle episodes for already existing characters.  

There are still many unexplored story lines in the world of SOULCALIBUR and as developers we are grateful to receive this request. But for now, we would like to focus on developing the story mode for paid DLCs, and consider this request in the future.

Q7.) Please make the game compatible with Nvidia Ansel.

Adding this feature might take some time, but we are planning for its implementation.

Q8.) Please improve the training mode. We would like to see more options regarding the commands display and the replays. Additionally, it would be great to have an infinite stage exclusive to this mode.

Partial improvement has already been made with the Version 1.20 Patch that went live on February 18. Further improvements are yet to come. Because it is the game mode that almost everyone goes back frequently to study or understand various characters and/or moves, it is a priority for us to improve this mode. Although the infinite stage might be difficult to implement at this moment, we will look into it.


[GAMEPLAY QUESTION (BATTLE)]

Q9.) The amount of changes brought by the Version 1.10 and Version 1.11 Updates are quite extraordinary. Isn’t it detrimental for the game to make this many changes this frequently?

The changes brought about by the Version 1.10 and Version 1.11 were quite extraordinary even for us. Frequent updates have the potential risk to disturb users’ play experience. The release of the next update relating to battle balance will be announced in the near future, but we are currently planning to focus on improvements such as implementing the changes that were not in time for Version 1.11 patch after DLC 4, resolving problems caused by update patches, and other small fixes.

We will thoroughly look into users’ requests and implement into the game if it makes sense.

Q10.) When fine-tuning the gameplay, were you favouring a balance that is more geared for online play rather than offline play?

The purpose of the updates implemented in Version 1.11 was to let casual players understand the details more easily, but that instead caused confusion or misunderstandings among a lot of players.

As our update policy, we believe that basing updates on either offline or online is not a good option.

The intention of Version 1.11 update is to adjust certain moves in which performance has been greatly changed between offline or online.

Q11.) What is the criteria used for game balancing? Hopefully, the game balancing is based on competitive play.

High level matches are referenced when adjusting the balance of the game, but elements such one-sided matches or why beginners or intermediate players are defeated are monitored as well. When balancing the gameplay, we always consider multiple types of players and various point of views. We want all players to be included and to enjoy our fighting game.

Q12.) We keep hearing explanations such as “character concept” or “developer intent” but more specifically, how do you come up with characters’ fighting styles?

Each character’s concept is defined in-game in the Fighting Style Handbook, the texts displayed in the fighting style selection screen of character creation or the parameter chart. We have taken into consideration of not having overlapping personalities so as to avoid characters that are too similar.

However, after the game’s launch, we felt that we should not discourage players from exploring strategies within the community by being protective of our initial vision by saying that “It’s different from the character concept” or “it’s different from the development team’s idea”.

Q13.) A change for Siegfried in the Version 1.11 update describes his fighting style as defensive, but isn’t it wrong to enforce such an impression on players?

As mentioned above, when developing characters, we make sure that characters are developed to match multiple players’ needs and that they are not just different from one another by a couple of minor parameters. In the case of Siegfried,  he was described as “a character who plays defensively at mid-range” in the patch notes to explain his fighting style in an easy-to-understand manner to players who don’t use him, but that intention was misconstrued. It was by no means to deny offensive play for him.

All characters will be adjusted with features to compliment their personalities in the coming update patches.

Q14.) Shouldn’t Reversal Edge be nerfed? People are abusing its game mechanic.

We mainly received this feedback from advanced players. In the previous entries, players had to memorise moves in order to guard, but with Reversal Edge, more players are now able to counter moves in battle regardless of the difference in players’ skill levels.

This was our purpose and we believe it is effective.

Reversal Edge was designed to lower the entry for the game so new players could pick it up more easily, but seeing this move abused is not something that we want. Updates such as charging Soul Gauge easily without Reversal Edge or assuaging input mistakes during Reversal Edge are being considered for future updates.

Q15.) Ring outs in general are too easy in this game, especially even midway into the stage. It’s far too easy to ring out or be ringed out by chance, whereas in previous entries it required a bit more planning.

While SOULCALIBUR VI has the biggest stage size in the SoulCalibur series, the distance of which you can push the opponent away was longer than we expected. Rather than adjusting the character moves to limit ring out, we are considering to make the smaller stages bigger in the future.

Q16.) Why did/ didn’t you nerf some characters?

When first released, the perception of various characters’ strengths was not established yet. The perception also depends on each community or the individual’s battle environment.

Balancing the game with updates is not a simple act of nerfing or buffing characters. We will continue to do our best to release information regarding these changes in a transparent way so that the community can be on the same page.

There is also a possibility to readjust or undo a change, if better conditions are found. For example, Siegfried’s Over Toss was changed in Version 1.11 to no longer have the ring out mechanic, and this resulted in some players feeling that the move was not interesting to play with anymore. We are considering to reevaluate that adjustment and also update some common elements such as increasing the buffer time for throws and making smaller stages larger.

Q17.) Please fix the following:

  1. Instances in which players are unable to hit their opponents when they are positioned too close to them.
  2. Instances in which players are unable to counter attack after dodging their opponents’ attacks.

The hit detection in SOULCALIBUR games is designed to be accurate by taking into account the hit motion, the length and form of weapons used, and the opponent’s character’s posture and form. That is why in some instances when the opponent is out of reach or too close to hit, players will not be able to hit their opponents. However, there are some cases in which a player correctly predicts the movement of their opponent and attacks the right place at the right moment but still the attack fails to connect. This will be fixed in the update following Version 1.10. We are also planning to gather further data and fix any potential problems.

Q18.) Improve the input buffering system. Currently it is inconsistent where inputs are held a long time after certain attacks and not allowed at all after others. I think it also affects attempts to side step in either direction while releasing the block button, causing a jump or crouch instead.

The more we narrow the window during which the input is recognised, the more difficult inputting moves become. The input buffering window of SOULCALIBUR VI is a bit wider than in previous entries. Changing the length of that window would strongly affect the controls and how the game is to the player. That is why we need to be extremely careful with any changes that we make. The input buffering that happens while being hit by opponents may become the cause of the unintentional moves. We will keep investigating the matter.

The player’s character jumping unintentionally is not caused by the input buffering. It’s another matter altogether and an issue that we are keen on fixing.

Q19.) Please provide us the frame data for each character and make it available for browsing in the Training Mode.

As Project Soul, not releasing frame data is part of our policy. There are 2 main reasons for this.

The first reason is that the act of figuring out frame data and sharing it within the community is fun and part of the game experience. If we released the data officially, we would be undermining this experience many enjoy.

The second reason is that it might put off newcomers to the series by giving the impression that the frame data must be studied closely for the game to be enjoyable, which is not what we are aiming for.

Having said that, we are also aware that the fighting game scene is becoming more and more competitive each passing day and that many players would like the frame data to study for competitions. If we were to provide the data, it should be done properly with all the necessary information and explanations. We are not sure if we will be releasing it, but we are open to the idea and are looking into it.


[QUESTIONS PERTAINING TO ONLINE PLAY]

Q20.) In Casual Match, please give us the option to directly do a rematch without having to return to the lobby menu when only 2 people are connected to the lobby.

We are currently looking into the feasibility of this improvement.

Q21.) Please increase the maximum number of possible rematches in Ranked Match.

The internal implementation and testing are underway. We are doing our best to implement it as quickly as possible.

Q22.) Please change the matchmaking  system in Ranked Match so as to avoid matching players with a huge gap in rank against each other. If this is unavoidable, at least make it such that it matches the players with a great difference in rank only when there is no other opponent to be matched against.

The matchmaking system has been improved and this issue resolved with the addition of various rank thresholds in the previous update (Version 1.20). The chances of finding an opponent close to the player’s rank is now much higher. But depending on the number of players online, there might still be some cases in which searches for an opponent close to the player’s rank fails and this results in them being matched to an opponent with a considerable rank gap.

We will continuously monitor the active users and rank distribution, and look into matchmaking adjustments.

Q23.) Please do away with region segregation ‘All Regions’ and ‘Same Region’ in online matching, or just better explain the difference between the settings.

With the previous update (Version 1.20), “All” has been changed to “Other” in the search filters. It was a source of misunderstanding as when the filter was set to “All”, it gave players the impression that this would allow them to match with all players. In reality, players who set their filter to “All/Other” will only be matched with other players who also picked “All/Other”. A player who selected “All/Other” region/ language and another who selected “Same” area/ language will not be matched together.

The current version contains only UI updates, so a “Same” area/ language player will still not be matched against another “Other” area/ language player. However, the next upcoming patch will allow players to use only one search filter “Connection”, thereby improving the game matching feature.

Q24.) Please change the current points allocation system in Ranked Match. Currently, winning a match allocates points to the character that was used during the match but not to any other characters that the player might use. With this system, it is hard to tell whether a low level character is really a novice or the alt-character of a seasoned veteran.

We are looking into a solution to reduce the frequency of an experienced player’s alt-character being matched against a new player. The solution might be to have an additional indicator that takes into account mains and alts. We are looking to improve the current mechanics in the game.

Q25.) In Online Play, using an alphabet and a number to represent player rank looks pretty bland. Please redesign the UI so as to have a slick way of displaying that information (for example, a cool-looking nameplate).

We are aware that a lot of our fans would really like UI elements that goes well with the series’ general aesthetics, so when an opportunity presents itself, we will look into reworking the UI.


[CHARACTER CREATION]

Q26.) Would it be possible to have an option to enable/ disable the equipment/ clothes destruction feature?

We will look into this setting.

Q27.) Please add more creation parts to the game.

Character creation quickly became the series staple after its introduction. Anyone can express their creativity openly as it is a tool that is wonderfully easy to use. Therefore, we would like to add more creation parts.

We have overshot our goal and designed more creation parts than initially intended in our DLC plans. Additionally, some creation parts will be added as free DLC. We sincerely hope that you will be looking forward to trying out these new parts.


[QUESTIONS RAISED DURING PUBLIC TALK EVENT ON FEBRUARY 16] 

Q28.) Please buff Siegfried. Although the information in Version 1.11 described him as “defensive”, it seems wrong to call him a defensive player because Siegfried has few effective counter attacks.

Siegfried is not great at counter attacks, however we feel that Siegfried can fight with lesser risk when counter attacking the approaching opponent with Aggressive Onrush, or triggering a combo while dodging a vertical slash or overhead attack with Rising Splitter after side stepping etc. This is to illustrate the difference between a defensive fighting style and Nightmare’s high-risk, high rewards offensive style.

The difference between Nightmare and Siegfried will be more emphasised in the future updates, so that Siegfried’s strengths can be demonstrated more clearly in battles.

Q29.) Taki can trigger two kinds of throws during Possession. However, both grapple breaks are triggered by the same input. Why?

Prior to Version 1.11, a throw from Possession was built in such a way that there was only one kind of grapple break since the throw was made in between a succession of swift, continuous attacks and difficult to avoid. Since a throw during Possession is treated as a special command throw, Taki can start moving first even if the throw was unsuccessful.

In the next update, it will become easier for all characters to grapple break. With this change, Taki will lose an advantage which is why we are planning to divide the grapple break into 2 distinct types.

Q30.) Opponents are pushed away when using Soul Charge. Is it possible to pull them in so that the close-range characters can use it more easily?

In SOULCALIBUR VI, the Soul Charge is designed to thrust away opponents. Counter elements such as power increase, temporary pause of the battle timer have been added on top of the the thrust. A fundamental revision of the entire system is necessary if we were to change this behaviour.

Soul Charge gives the player various ways to fight. It could be used defensively to thrust the enemy away or offensively if activated on the edge of the stage. We will continue to update the game to expand the various Soul Charge tactics.

Q31.) I would like to be able to do warm up training while searching for a RANKED MATCH opponent.

Please set the ‘Standby Settings’ to ‘ON’ in Arcade or Training Mode.

Q32.) Prior to Version 1.10, Xianghua was known to have a high capability to ring out opponents. Since her ring out capability was nerfed, please buff something else. 

The ring out ability of Xianghua was not a main focus during development. However, after the launch of the game, we realised that players had fun with this ring out ability.

Even if we had to nerf other characters during balance adjustments, we would compensate by adding another interesting element. We are currently considering to accommodate this request in the next update.

Q33.) How do you decide the character line-ups?

Weapon usage is unique to, and considered the identity of SOULCALIBUR among fighting game genres. The weapons, variations of fighting styles and composition are first considered, then we look at how the character would integrate into the storyline and if it would appeal to the player.

Q34.) I would like to return directly to the stage selection screen after finishing a battle.

We are aware of the demand for this and currently looking into it.

Q35.) Please increase the number of stages.

We understand that fans are strongly requesting the stages from previous entries to be brought back in SOULCALIBUR VI. Each stage has its own strategies and tactics, thus we understand that there is a strong demand for more variety and fun. Within the team, we are considering this request.

Q36.) When Voldo’s Scarecrow (Facing away & during 8WAY-RUN  A) triggers a Lethal Hit during a specific stun combo, Lethal Hit effects are shown but follow up attacks are not possible. Why is that?

This is related to the mechanics of the game’s combo system where it doesn’t allow for the same stun effect to occur twice within a combo.  As we feel that the current behaviour is not ideal, we are currently looking into better solutions.

Q37.) I hear that the objective of adjustments is to fill in the gaps between Online and Offline Modes. In that case, will effects triggering timing or chaining speed (elements that require reacting to the movements of your opponent) be adjusted? What’s your take on input lag?

In fighting games where matches are held in real time and requires you to make judgments instantaneously, then input the next course of action, we realised that the existence of the input lag difference cannot be overlooked.

We understand the importance of observing the opponent’s movements and then deciding your next move, so we will continue to study and adjust the timings of various attack animations and character movements.

 Q38.) What I found fun from the previous titles was the online in-game chat in ‘Player Match’. It’s a pity the game does not have this function now as it will make communication easier. Will it be added in upcoming updates?

We really hesitated on how to proceed with the online related elements which existed in the previous title, including “Global Colosseo”.

For in-game chat, having both a chat feature and emotes would be ideal, but we ended up only implementing emotes during development.

Since this is a highly requested feature, we are considering it.

39.) Are there any plans for a future SOULCALIBUR World Tour?

We truly appreciate your request for a SOULCALIBUR World Tour. Even for titles like TEKKEN 7, organising a World Tour requires various adjustments and coordination among many parties. We will need a considerable amount of time for a SOULCALIBUR World Tour to happen.  At this point, we are unable to give a definite answer.

Q40.) I understand that Character Creation is an important element, however, attacks are sometimes hard to see. Can you add an option to remove custom characters from Ranked Match?

Separating the player base with this option would increase the matchmaking time and possibly give way to being matched against an opponent with a bigger difference in rank because the number of opponents that fit the search criteria would decrease. We regard Ranked Match as the place to showcase your character creations, so we are not planning on adding an option to remove custom characters from Ranked Match at the moment.

However, we are looking into a solution to players using custom characters to gain unfair advantages.

Q41.) In Offline battle, there are only two kinds of regular colors, P1 and P2, so the player’s personality can’t be expressed. Can you add more colours?  

We are currently looking into a way for players to express their personality even in Offline mode. Weapon selection is available in Update Version 1.20 and colour addition is being considered for future updates.

Q42.) When applying a sticker rotation in Character Creation, it is not possible to apply it to cover 360 degrees or the line remains on the joint. Is there any possibility to cover all around?

We have done the best we could during SOULCALIBUR VI’s development, but we will continue making an effort for further improvements.

Q43.) Is it possible to see how many people have downloaded and used the character I’ve created and shared online? 

Thank you for this very interesting question. We will consider its implementation when an opportunity arises.

Q44.) What kind of information is used as reference when making battle adjustments? 

We look at tournament battles from various locations as well as online battles between players, and use the information gathered to make adjustments and improvements. When doing so, we don’t refer only to the experienced players. We would like all players with different skills to continuously enjoy this title.

Q45.) Appeal is unintentionally triggered during battle.

Regarding this issue with Appeal unintentionally triggering when guarding or attacking, we will look into the input reception and commands.

Q46.) Maxi’s Neutral Guard (Alkaid) has a Guard Impact ability. However, even if I repel the opponent’s attack, I receive Reverse Impact and can’t follow up attacking. Why is that?

The fact that the opponent can trigger Reverse Impact when you repel the vertical slash with Neutral Guard (Alkaid) is an expected behaviour. It doesn’t mean that Maxi’s attack is guaranteed upon successful repelling. There is one more struggle against the opponent, and the counter is only guaranteed when Maxi has the Soul Gauge.

Q47.) Why don’t you ask the public to contribute character designs?

Thank you for the interesting suggestion! We will consider this.

Q48.) Could you tell us the DLC release timing? 

We plan to release the remaining 3 DLCs including Amy by end of this summer.

Q49.) Although Reversal Edge is a common system, the wind-up speed varies by character. Why are some easier to dodge than others?

Reversal Edge was designed as a general system to avoid all upper/ mid/ low attacks by triggering a “special guard”. Besides that, each character’s characteristics are strongly reflected. We will continue to adjust Reversal Edge and other common battle systems but will keep these character’s characteristics.

Q50.) Who is the strongest staff among the battle adjustment team?

Our battle adjustment team includes well known “Oosaka” or Mr “Shining Decopon” but other team members also possess deep knowledge and skills. It is difficult to say who is the strongest. We can’t share too much of the development team’s internal information but our members sometimes research the market trends through online. You might already have battled against them!

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