When developing the gameplay engine for their new Mortal Kombat, the team at NetherRealm Studios knew that there would be a necessity for a tweaking process to ensure optimum balance at the highest levels of play. With that in mind, they created the game with a "hotfix" system, which allows incremental changes without the need of a full Sony or Microsoft approved patch.

Kung Lao gets nerfed after tournament and online dominations!

A string of hotfix tweaks have already been unleashed as the game undergoes its first wave of minor balancing changes. The majority of tweaks pertain to damage levels and attack priorities, with Kung Lao a target in both combos and damage levels since his domination at the PDP National Tournament in Las Vegas, and online. Test Your Might, via tester Tom Brady, have reported the complete list of tweaks and how they play out, as follows:

  • Reduced some of Kung Lao’s combo and overall damage.
  • Reduced the damage on some special moves.
  • Increased the damage scaling after Kitana’s Enhanced ground fan toss.
  • Adjusted some juggle’s damage scaling.
  • Reduced the damage on some basic combos that were doing too much damage without using any meter.
  • Increased Sheeva’s damage output for several of her moves and attacks.
  • Temporarily Changed around some of Sonya’s fighting style properties to reduce her ability to lock someone down in block stun.
  • Changed Kano’s Towards + FK to a low block.
  • Reduced the recovery on Kano’s Upball to be closer to Johnny Cage’s Flip Kick recovery.
  • Increased the damage of some of Baraka’s special moves and attacks.
  • It is easy to juggle combo after hitting someone with Baraka’s chopchop on the ground.
  • Increased the damage scaling on a frozen opponent.
  • Baraka’s Away + FK FP combo is now a true popup.
  • Reduced some of Reptile's combo damage.

Making the shift to a 2D fighting plane, 2011's Mortal Kombat has made a conceited effort to appeal to the hardcore fighting game audience. This first wave of hotfixes is all part of NetherRealm Studios' dedication to the gameplay experience, which has been good enough to see Mortal Kombat gain entry into the 2011 Evo Championship, later in the year [full story].

When Mortal Kombat Online talked to National Mortal Kombat Champion and seasoned tournament veteran, Justin Wong, he showed optimism toward the longterm effects of patching the game, "I believe that if MK9 keeps getting patches, it [definitely] will be [a] longterm for fighting tournaments."

In an interview with G4TV, series co-creator Ed Boon confirmed that upcoming downloadable content featuring new character, Skarlet, will include more extensive updates to gameplay and online functions. The Skarlet DLC is expected to be announced within the month, with a Klassic Costume pack just revealed for an official Friday announcement [full story]!

For more details about DLC, gameplay patches, and thoughts from the National MK Champion, stay tuned to Mortal Kombat Online! For regular updates, follow us on Twitter, @MK_Online.