After leaks earlier today revealed that Kunimitsu would be joining Tekken 7 later this year in season four, we now have a more in-depth explanation about the new features, balance changes, and other details.
Right out of the gates, we found out that this is not the same Kunimitsu who last appeared in a mainline game in Tekken 2 in 1996. It is in fact her daughter who has taken the name, which was pretty obvious considering the images showed her without scarfs in the leaks, and will be using a modified fighting style.
The stage being released with her later this year is also called Vermillion Gates, not Red Gates as it was translated from the Bandai Namco Brazil leaks. Tekken series director Katsuhiro Harada and producer Michael Murray also confirmed that made the stage Japan-themed for both Kunimitsu’s release and the 2020 Olympics, which were set to take place in Tokyo this year prior to being canceled.
Harada and Murray detailed more of the changes coming in season four, including just what enhancements to the online experience the team is working on.
The two main elements of the online improvement plan were a focus on providing players a way to know if the opponent they are facing is using Wi-Fi or a wired internet connection, along with general netcode improvements.
Harada says that over the last three years, the requests for a Wi-Fi indicator have increased drastically. He has also had talks with Super Smash Bros. series creator Masahiro Sakurai, who showed a “keen interest” in talks about improved online features, which should get Smash players excited.
According to Harada, about 60 percent of Tekken’s online player base uses wired connections, with most PC users and players in Japan and Korea mainly playing wired, while Western countries leaned more toward Wi-Fi. They are using this data as a basis for the Wi-Fi indicator, which will be added to the game in season four.
Along with that, Harada also explained the intricacies of Tekken 7’s netcode and how he is approaching potential updates that will improve player experience. He still says that Tekken does utilize rollback, but because of everything going on in the game, animations, movement, etc. they had to approach using it differently at the start and are tweaking those initial variables for season four.
He also says that he would have taken the proper equipment and flown around the world in the process of updating the online experience if COVID-19 wasn’t stopping him. Instead, he has brought in professional players, staff, and additional testers to make sure they are actually making improvements, with very positive feedback thus far.
New moves are also arriving in this update, with something fun to discover for every character in the game. The goal for the development team was trying to get players to look at other characters who might not see a lot of usage online.
But the main goal here was to reduce the likelihood of a player getting wall comboed and losing a massive amount of health. This had both Harada and Murray launch into a conversation about balancing the game, including how just increasing or decreasing health bars can completely shift how a game is perceived from a balance standpoint.
Unfortunately for fans, these new moves might not be available right away with the rest of season four due to COVID straining how much work the team could put in on making the progress they wanted.
As for the ranking system, a new rank has been added to usurp Tekken God Prime as the top title, Tekken God Omega. This will go into effect along with a ranking reset at the start of season four, but player ranks won’t all be reset to Beginner. Instead, season four reset ranks will vary greatly depending on where you were ranked prior to the reset going into effect.
Another new feature that has some fans concerned is a three-strikes-and-your-out rule, meaning players will lose more points if they lose three fights in a row. Murray hopes that this will push players against a wall and force them to improve by adding stakes to each match, but it might make the community even more toxic.
Tekken Prowess is that last new element the developers elaborated on, explaining that this new system will be used to show your “power level” in the game by using four individual elements:
- Highest owned Rank
- Total rank of all characters
- Play Stats
- Number of matches
Harada thanked fans for helping Tekken 7 sell six million copies worldwide, making it the third highest-selling game in the franchise, overtaking Tekken 2 (5.7 million,) but trailing both Tekken 3 (8.2 million) and Tekken 5 (8.5 million.) This also pushed the series over 50 million total units sold in its lifetime.
The season four update is still scheduled to release this fall, but Harada says there is still some work to be done before it is ready to be put out. He and Bandai Namco will be sharing the release date soon.