What EA is doing with EA UFC is unprecedented in videogames today. At least unprecedented in the sense that few games nowadays are as consistently updated as EA UFC. It’s almost as if it was released like a Greenlight game, missing features and moves… Sorry, had to say it.
And with that said, EA UFC has gone through a massive transformation in just the four months since its release. We’ve gained major gameplay enhancements, additional fighters and the team in Vancouver absolutely refuses to let the community down in the fighting department. Of course, with every patch, new, annoying glitches are discovered, and spammers will find the best combos to… Spam with. It’s frustrating, but at least we know the devs are working to fix the gameplay so everyone is happy, and it becomes the best representation of MMA. Or at least the UFC.
Recently a massive post was published on the EA UFC forums detailing the next patch’s goodness, and it’s really detailed. Like, really detailed. You can see the embroidery.
The following is a list of changes and bug fixes for the upcoming patch, driven entirely by community feedback on the last patch.
We fixed a bug where you would accidentally enter into the guillotine takedown defense when you did not input that request.
Ground Stamina Regen and Getup Spam
Users have reported that the change to stamina regen on the ground has encouraged getup spam.
To address this issue we are freezing stamina regen on the fighter whose getup was denied, while allowing the denier’s stamina to regen throughout the duration of the denial animation for apex ground positions only.
Apex positions include rubber guard, mount, backmount and crucifix.
The reason we chose to only do it for the apex positions only is to further differentiate dominant positions and give the dominant fighter increased incentive to progress to those dominant positions.
As the dom, if you deny the subs getup attempt, you get priority on the next move so there is no reason for you to get stuck in a getup spam loop, unlike apex positions where you have nowhere to go which limits your options.
We are not changing stamina regen during transition denials. We considered it, but during testing found it made the dom fighter a little too over powered compared to what we’d like as the sub has limited options when it comes to regenerating stamina on the ground.
In addition, the dom can interrupt a transition by striking when postured up, so transition spam is not as effective as getup spam since getups break the ability to perform GnP.
To help eliminate takedown spam we will be freezing stamina regen for the fighter who has their takedown denied for the duration of the denial animation, while the denier’s stamina regens. This will apply to clinch denials as well.
Clinch transition denial exploit
We have fixed an exploit where users were able to spam the stick oscillating between transition and break denials and successfully denying both. That technique will no longer work.
Loss of functionality on the ground
We fixed a bug where the player would lose all functionality on the ground when they were swept from tower/floor while kicking their opponent. This could result in many problems once the sweep happened, the most common of which was loss of control, or loss of blocking ability.
Leg Kick Tuning
The combo windows for successive inside leg kicks has been greatly reduced, while still leaving it responsive for combos from inside leg kicks to other strikes.
Strikes will now also interrupt leg kicks if landed in the early frames, similar to what we did with all other kicks in the last patch.
Anti Strike Spam Measures
This is probably the most interesting change, and likely will spark the biggest debate.
Users are reporting that “hook spam” has become a dominant strategy online as a result of the combo speed changes in the last patch.
Because we like the increased striking responsiveness and fluidity we didn’t want to back away from the improvements from the last patch, but acknowledge the spamming problem that has surfaced.
We wanted to come up with a solution that would address the problem directly, while limiting the possibility of introducing further exploits or imbalances.
In the past, the stamina tax of performing a strike was constant, regardless of how many strikes had previously been thrown. With this setup, our only option to penalize excessive striking would have been to increase the stamina tax, which would hurt creative and realistic combos just as much as they would hurt mindless, repetative spamming. We didn’t want to do that.
So we took a different approach.
Per Strike Combo Limits
The game will now count how many times you throw the same strike in quick succession. Regardless of whether it is a head or body strike, lead or back strike, as long as it is the same strike type it will count.
If you exceed a threshold, which is different per strike type, the combo speed, strike speed and damage will drop considerably. If you continue to throw that same strike, you will take a massive stamina hit as a result.
To avoid this, simply mix up your punches before you reach this threshold.
For example, the threshold for hooks is 4. So you can throw 4 hooks and it will behave exactly the same as it does now. The 5th hook will be slow and ineffective, giving you the queue that you’ve exceeded the threshold for that strike type. The 6th hook will cost you 3x the stamina and remain slow and ineffective until you take a 0.3 second pause between strikes, or mix up your strikes.
This system gave us the ability to address other spam problems that we have been receiving feedback on from the beginnning.
Spinning and jumping techniques will have a threshold of 1. So you can throw 1 effective spinning or jumping technique before hitting the limit.
Every strike type in the game has its own tunable that controls this threshold.
This change alone forces you to be aware of what strikes your are throwing and understand the pros and cons of each, but it is quite easy to get around.
We were worried about people simply throwing in a jab to break the combo and continue their hook spam.
As such, we also added a global combo limit.
Global Combo Limits
The global combo limit behaves the same as the per strike combo limits, but it counts the number of consecutive strikes regardless of strike type.
After much back and forth, we settled on 10 strikes as the global combo limit.
So you can throw 10 strikes in a row, and the 11th will cost you 3x the stamina and render the strike slow and ineffective.
This changes the game quite a bit as the striker now needs to be aware of how many strikes he has thrown, and what types of strikes he used.
It also means the defender can do the same, and knows when the attacker will have to let off and can plan accordingly.
Our hope is that this change will go mostly unnoticed by players who throw realistic combos, but will punish those who mash buttons without considering the consequences.
I know a lot of people wanted consistent stopping power in this patch, but we determined that it was too big and risky a change to make with such a tight timeline for testing. I would like to point out that stopping power in the game is directly tied to stamina.
This means that if your opponent exceeds either combo limit, you will have an easier time countering the strike because it will be slow, and you will have much more consistent stopping power on your counter becasue their stamina will be considerably depleted.
Not the perfect solution you or I wanted, but in play testing we noticed a big difference and we hope that translates to the online environment as well.
These combo limits and stamina penalties have been implemented in a way that we could hot fix them through live tuning in the future if they end up being too punishing or ineffective. Our hope is that these limits, along with our ability to respond quickly to feedback, will bring the game to a better state of balance.
No doubt it will eliminate extreme spamming altogther, but it is still an open question as to what impact it will have on people who stay within these limits.
We found that just the threat of these penalties existing forced players to really think about what they were doing which was a game changer on its own.
Hopefully you guys agree when you get your hands on it.