MultiVersus Developer Series: Combat Refactor

By Player First Games
25 de abr. de 2024

Hey there, everyone! Our last blog highlighted all the big revisions to the MultiVersus netcode. This week we’ll be digging deep into the upcoming Combat Refactor and some of the exciting changes to the way the game is played.   

From seasoned vets to brand new players, the combat in MultiVersus needs to make sense for players of all skill levels. From a combat philosophy perspective, we always want to make sure MultiVersus combat rewards smart, well timed, calculated play in a fun, engaging and fluid way. During Open Beta, MultiVersus prioritized combat that was flexible and snappy, emphasizing the moment-to-moment combat encounters. We loved the fluidity of that combat, but we wanted to equally reward more strategic play without removing the fluidity.  While our evolved combat prioritizes more strategic and “neutral” play, we feel that these changes for our launch still preserve the soul of MultiVersus combat while evolving it in a positive direction.  

MultiVersus has a diverse group of characters with many different abilities, skills and playstyles. When we decided to rebuild our netcode from the ground up, it gave us the opportunity to rebuild our entire roster of characters in an overall effort to tune the cast to be both fun to play as and against. In short, when we launch, MultiVersus combat will be easy to pick up, but truly challenging to master. Let’s get into the details.  

Improving Clarity  

There is a lot going on during a MultiVersus match, with flashy moves and explosions all over the place. During Open Beta it became clear that a number of players found it challenging to track the details of combat during matches, so we made a number of changes to improve the overall clarity of battle. While the fundamentals remain the same, we think you’ll appreciate the tweaks we’ve incorporated to improve the flow of a match, making the moment-to-moment easier and clearer for players to observe.   

New Engine
Old Engine

You may have noticed that characters seem a bit bigger this time around, and you’re not wrong. We think it’s very important to be able to quickly react to what your opponents are up to and having larger characters really leads to improved readability. Our in-game camera is also more dynamic and will pan and zoom accordingly, depending on what is going on in-game. When you’re fighting an opponent 1v1, the camera will zoom in to bring you closer to the action, but when combat moves to the wider parts of the map, you’ll see the camera pull out to capture all the mayhem. The dynamic camera does a fantastic job of keeping the game feeling snappy and fast, while improving readability so that you can better understand your opponents’ actions.  

Next, we added a set of animations that will not only improve the game visually but will also help you to identify exactly what your opponents are doing at all times. You’ll now be able to see unique animations that showcase which state both your character and your opponent are in. Many of our updated animations not only help players read gameplay tactically, but also improve how visceral it feels. We want to make sure that your hits feel impactful and satisfying when you land an attack. We’ve also paired these animations with revamped sound effects that help to add to that visceral impact. On top of that, as we discussed in our last blog, the game’s new netcode will improve both the clarity and accuracy of combat, leading to a much more consistent and reliable experience for you and your friends, even across the country.    

Dash Attack  

A new dash attack has been added to all characters! Dash attack is an intuitive combat entry that can quickly close the distance between you and your opponent. After beginning your run animation, dash attack allows you to strike your opponent with a bit of extra forward velocity on your side. This addition gives players more flexibility and creative possibility as it can be used to start a combo or be weaved into the middle of combo strings. You also can input forward direction twice in quick succession to use your dash attack, enabling you to use it as both a quick attack, or a powerful combo ender. The dash attack speeds up combat in an organic way while adding greater complexity, mobility and player expression to your toolkit.   

Iron Giant: Dash Attack

Parry Time 

Parry has also been added to the game and it’s kind of a big deal! Parry is a high skill mechanic that gives you a new defensive option in MultiVersus. When properly utilized, a player who parries will recover more quickly than the attacker and will have the opportunity to launch their own attack. This gives a tactical advantage, but it requires precise timing to pull off and if you miss that timing, you could be left in a vulnerable spot. One goal of ours is to keep combat moving and fluid, and a parry gives you a ton of defensive expression, while not slowing the pace of battle. There is a great risk/reward mechanic to attempting a parry – do you risk parrying an opponent’s attack knowing the more precise timing could leave you exposed? We hope making these trade-offs during real time MultiVersus combat will add fun dimensions to how players can express themselves. 

Character Kits  

At launch, every character from our Open Beta period will receive kit tuning to improve their overall feel. Some characters will also receive all new abilities to replace previous moves, such as Harley’s balloons. Digging a bit into the details, the hit volume, timing and placement of all hits has been adjusted for every single move. Now, no matter which character you pick, their moves feel much more precise and impactful. A lot of attention and care has gone into designing the MultiVersus character kits, and we’re looking forward to you getting your hands on these reworked characters.   

Harley Balloon: New Engine
Harley Balloon: Old Engine

Players First: Join the Community  

We can’t wait for you to put your hands on our combat experience when MultiVersus launches on May 28. However, we’re not done! We’ve built a variety of tools that allow us to continue to improve the game over time, meaning that once the game is live, we’ll take in your feedback and continue iterating, so that our community continually has something to look forward to after launch.   

Please be sure to follow us on our social channels and join the official MultiVersus Discord for the latest news about the game. We’ll be back with more updates soon. Stay tuned! 



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