Arc System Works has released the third in its series of “Developer’s Backyard” blogs for Guilty Gear: Strive, this time answering user questions about the game’s difficulty, ranking system, and more.
Get the third volume below.
Third Volume (August 31 Release)
Welcome to another volume of “Developer’s Backyard.” Thanks for reading. This is Katano from the development team at Arc System Works. First off, have you seen the trailer we debuted at the Japan Fighting Game Publishers Roundtable? If not, take a look at it here:
We’d like to answer your questions and comments regarding Nagoriyuki and Leo Whitefang in a future installment, so please send them in via this form. With that out of the way, let’s get the conversation going between us here at Arc System Works and the players. We’ll continue to share our developmental intent, plans, and the latest info with you all.
Answering Your Questions
In this section, we will answer questions we received after Developer’s Backyard Volume 2. As always, I (Katano) will answer along with General Director Daisuke Ishiwatari.
Question #1: Is your goal with Guilty Gear: Strive to create a complex fighting game, or a simpler one?
Katano: “First, I’d like to establish that we believe that ‘simple’ and ‘easy’ are separate concepts. With that in mind, I’ll go over the developmental concepts for Guilty Gear: Strive again.
“With previous games in the series, new players would not be able to understand what’s going on in the match when they watched high-level play, so they wouldn’t feel very interested or motivated to improve. Because of that, we are working to make the appearance of moves and general impression of the game easier to comprehend compared to prior entries in the series.
“However, advanced techniques will be accordingly difficult to perform.
“After all, if everyone chooses the same actions, and combos and setplay in particular end up with only one correct option, this would take away Guilty Gear’s unique appeal.
“I believe that the solution to getting new players to enjoy matches is not to make the game itself easier, but rather to create a rank system that makes it easy for them to play with others who are around the same skill level.
“If players can fight others at the same level, there’s no need to try and make new players play the same way as advanced players, nor to make game mechanics that obscure the gap in their skill levels.
“I’m certain that we can make a game that new players can enjoy, while also keeping advanced techniques in the game.
“Also, the techniques in Guilty Gear: Strive are difficult in a different way than those in previous Guilty Gear games.
“Series veterans have been practicing the difficult techniques from prior titles for many years now. That’s why in the current environment, we’ve been able to see such thoroughly optimized, high-level play. However, our goal for this game is to create something new and equally challenging for all players.”
Ishiwatari: “I spoke about this a bit during the Japan Fighting Game Publishers Roundtable stream. You can hear my thoughts in this video:”
Question #2: Will the story in Guilty Gear: Strive be a continuation of the previous game? Or will it be the start of a new story?
Ishiwatari: “The story is a continuation of the Xrd series games, but in such a way that even new players can enjoy it. Also, we have something in the works for those who are curious about the story so far. We’ll have more information for you later.”
Question #3: I’ve noticed that there are a few subtle, almost hidden mechanics and techniques, such as changing direction when Roman Canceling an airdash or by using Faultless Defense after an airdash to fall faster. Do you plan to have more similar, advanced, and unique techniques, and are there more that players seemed to have missed in the Beta?
Katano: “Yes, even as of the closed beta test, we included many more techniques than those we’ve explained. We wanted to collect data about what players would find and how they would use it in their limited time with the game.
“When we release information on our official channels, it will have an impact on how people play the game. We wanted everyone to play the game, particularly in regard to the new mechanics, in a neutral state.
“In the end, we want to leave room for the players’ discoveries to exceed our expectations. Also, although we are still working on the game, there are going to be many major changes compared to the closed beta test. We’ll have more information later.”
Question #4: Why aren’t you guys addressing Rollback Netcode in these blogs? The silence around the netplay is truly worrisome.
Katano: “As we announced previously, Guilty Gear: Strive will use rollback netcode, which is currently under development. We are hoping to show the players our netcode not through a section of Developer’s Backyard, but rather when players can play the game for themselves. We ask for your patience until then.”
Question #5: Are you considering introducing a ranking system to the new Guilty Gear? With the ranking system in Xrd, intermediate level players would be randomly matched with high-level players, and end up ranking down. On the other hand, however, being able to choose your opponent could also create a disparity in ability between players in the same rank. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts about these ranking systems, as well as what you plan to do from here on. My personal thinking is that we don’t need rankings in our small community. I do think that it’s important to get a sense of satisfaction within your own group, however, so I think having something like titles such as “Master of the Sol Match-up” might be good enough.
Katano: “We plan to announce the details of our system using a different channel, but I can tell you that the rank system will be completely different from prior games. Before, we’ve made systems for the games in arcades, and then used those ideas as a base when making the console versions. However, since we are developing the game with online matches in mind from the start, the baseline is already quite different.
“Let me share some reflections we have regarding previous games’ rank systems.
- “We noticed players would avoid playing modes that impacted their rank because they didn’t like losing points.
- “Having multiple online modes split the player base, making it difficult for beginners in particular to match with people around their skill level.
“We see these two issues as major problems, and our goal is to avoid them with this game.
“Also, I’d like to address this now as it is related to online modes: we are implementing more online features in this game for those who want to take their matches seriously.”
Question #6: How does the development team feel about the current state of Instant Blocking (IB) and Faultless Defense (FD)? With the added emphasis on RISC (even though it’s hard to see with how the UI is implemented), FD seems to have a strong place as a defensive option. It both minimizes RISC gain and allows for forcing whiff punish situations from a defender who is making good decisions and paying attention to their opponent. However, IB seems like it has lost a lot of its interesting aspects from prior titles and only exists because it used to. The interesting point around it, where you can turn block strings punishable to take advantage of auto-piloted offense, or create new defensive situations, no longer exist. It’s simply meter gain. Is this enough to keep IB interesting and worth the risk? Or does it need further refining and iteration to become a more thoughtful option for the defender.
Ishiwatari: “We are also continually debating defensive game mechanics. To address Instant Block (IB) specifically, in the closed beta test we simply decreased the reward gained from successfully IBing in order to avoid IB becoming a prerequisite for matches and strategy. However, this removed any incentive to try IBing, while also failing to improve the mechanic because the input required remained unchanged. So, we’re currently re-thinking the input and effect of IB completely. Our plan is to make the mechanic something more exciting by the next time you can play the game. Look forward to what we come up with!”
About the Next Volume of Developer’s Backyard
That’s all for Volume Three of Developer’s Backyard. Thank you for reading to the end.
We’ll have more news about the game for you in October. Get hype!
We’re currently accepting submissions for topics you’d like for us to discuss in a future Developer’s Backyard as well as questions and comments via this form.
Please note that we cannot answer inquiries regarding playable characters that have yet to be announced. Also, please be aware that we cannot answer every submission.
Check out the official Guilty Gear: Strive Twitter for the latest info!
For English tweets follow @ArcSystemWorksU!
Guilty Gear: Strive is due out for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC via Steam, and arcade in spring 2021.