Playable bosses (long post)
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Playable bosses (long post)
05/23/2014 03:32 PM EST
Both the Shinnok thread and my good bosses idea in the future MK games section had posters, including myself, arguing whether bosses should ever be playable or not. So I decided to post this thread here, since it's not so much about bosses being playable in future games as it is about the concept of playable bosses in general, whether it worked in previous games, among other things. That, and three boss related threads in the future MK games board would have been overkill.

For starters, how just being able to play as the bosses crush the immersion, and how it's apparently not enough to avoid playing as them. To me, that sounds like people having some irresistible urge to play as the bosses, and that the only way they can avoid doing that is to leave everyone else unable to. Why should everyone pay for some other people's weakness? How can someone else living halfway across the world playing as a boss in their own room gonna ruin the experience for you?

To me, the immersion remains there when I'm playing as a non-boss against the bosses. When I'm playing as the bosses, I accept, hell I actually like, that it's going to be a different experience. I love variety. It seems like a lot of people are very easily distracted by all sorts of things including playable bosses. Me, well I learn to adjust to different situations. If, at the moment, my immersion required me to avoid playing as the bosses, then I'd just avoid playing as them. Period. Being able to do so doesn't undermine their fear factor, or something like that. Not the case for many other people, it seems.

Playable bosses can be exciting for various reasons. They tend to have different gameplay, great designs, and I like seeing those confined to a specific background or two in all of them. It's interesting, and a little funny, to see the end bosses moving up the ladder until they eventually reach themselves. Add to that seeing bosses and sub-bosses taking on each other, and the game acting as if the end bosses have been defeated, even though you just won as them.

"Shao Kahn wins. Shao Kahn is no more. You are the ultimate MK trilogy champion". Come on, that was hilarious. People get way too uptight over things like that. Basically, it's like the people who object to playable bosses are Hotaru. They believe in a strict order of things, an order that is so easily disrupted by nearly anything. In this particular case, if they even know they can play as a boss, the immersion's ruined forever, to them. Talk about overreacting.

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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/23/2014 05:59 PM EST
People have this idea that an unplayable boss makes them more intimidating. Which is not true. Case in point, Superman in Injustice is a scarier boss than Shao Kahn in MK9. Why is this? Because Superman does what a boss should do. Be an actual problem as opposed to being an obstacle.

Playability has no effect on intimidation.
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/23/2014 06:16 PM EST
KungLaodoesntsuck Wrote:
People have this idea that an unplayable boss makes them more intimidating. Which is not true. Case in point, Superman in Injustice is a scarier boss than Shao Kahn in MK9. Why is this? Because Superman does what a boss should do. Be an actual problem as opposed to being an obstacle.

Playability has no effect on intimidation.


Don't speak for people, please.

Some feel intimidated, others (like you) don't. No need to speak for people when not everything you say is fact. It's an opinion, never saw anyone state that non-playable bosses are intimidating as a fact.
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/23/2014 06:44 PM EST
Icebaby Wrote:
KungLaodoesntsuck Wrote:
People have this idea that an unplayable boss makes them more intimidating. Which is not true. Case in point, Superman in Injustice is a scarier boss than Shao Kahn in MK9. Why is this? Because Superman does what a boss should do. Be an actual problem as opposed to being an obstacle.

Playability has no effect on intimidation.


Don't speak for people, please.

Some feel intimidated, others (like you) don't. No need to speak for people when not everything you say is fact. It's an opinion, never saw anyone state that non-playable bosses are intimidating as a fact.


Can you describe how exactly a boss being playable has any effect on the final battle itself? Because I've listed several examples of playable bosses that were more than formidable. You have yet to provide any proof that playability has any effect on the final battle itself.
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/23/2014 11:01 PM EST
KungLaodoesntsuck Wrote:
Can you describe how exactly a boss being playable has any effect on the final battle itself? Because I've listed several examples of playable bosses that were more than formidable. You have yet to provide any proof that playability has any effect on the final battle itself.


I gave you answers in your thread, but I guess that's not good enough. Fine, I'll give you more reasons.

I don't really care to play as a boss. I really don't. Yeah, other fighting games do that, but that's other fighting games. Mortal Kombat doesn't need to act like those other games just to please every single fighting game fan out there.

However, in a game like Mortal Kombat, bosses would have to be toned down and balanced to fight like the other characters. Which, in my opinion, loses the purpose of being a boss. I like to feel intimidated (at first) going up against a guy I hardly know what their moves are, and how they are played. I like to not know what they are beforehand.

You found a problem with that when someone stated it. Claiming that because Shinnok isn't a brute, he can easily be balanced, he shouldn't be like his AI self. But that's dumb. To have him have those abilities and then scrap them away for his playable counterpart? No, no, I want those abilities! This was the damn issue with trying to figure out how to make Kahn a playable character. You're going to scrap everything that makes him, him, and then make him playable? Ditch the stone skin, ditch the instant kill x-ray, ditch the armored ability just to make him playable? Fuck that, I don't want to play as a tone down Kahn. I want to play the Kahn that is annoying and cheap with those abilities too! Size doesn't really make a difference in this game as long as you have magic with you. Depending on how they're going to design Shinnok's magic should make a difference seeing how he's the kind of guy who would rely on that than brute strength. That was all what Kahn was. Shinnok shouldn't be easy to tone and balance to act like the other characters because he's as big as them. That's a silly thing to even say, especially after knowing who his character is.

You also stated that the reason why you're so uptight about having Shinnok playable is because he was in the fourth game. Why does that need to be a reason? For all we know, we might get trolled by Boon and have Shinnok not be the final boss. And yeah, I'm heading in that direction with this. Why should Shinnok be playable based on the fourth game? We don't have all the information, we don't know who's in. This game might surprise us with something different happening. Him being playable in the fourth therefore he needs to be playable is a reason I'm just gonna laugh at.

Are those answers acceptable for you to just allow people to have a different opinion than you? Just because you have a hard time understanding why people think "it loses the purpose of a boss," shouldn't mean you have to be constantly against that person when they say that while also saying, "no, they shouldn't be playable."
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/24/2014 05:10 AM EST
LMAO at anybody who lost to AI Shinnok in MK4.
Onto the playable bosses issue at hand, they existed since Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/24/2014 07:09 AM EST
Icebaby Wrote:
I gave you answers in your thread, but I guess that's not good enough. Fine, I'll give you more reasons.

I don't really care to play as a boss. I really don't. Yeah, other fighting games do that, but that's other fighting games. Mortal Kombat doesn't need to act like those other games just to please every single fighting game fan out there.

However, in a game like Mortal Kombat, bosses would have to be toned down and balanced to fight like the other characters. Which, in my opinion, loses the purpose of being a boss. I like to feel intimidated (at first) going up against a guy I hardly know what their moves are, and how they are played. I like to not know what they are beforehand.

You found a problem with that when someone stated it. Claiming that because Shinnok isn't a brute, he can easily be balanced, he shouldn't be like his AI self. But that's dumb. To have him have those abilities and then scrap them away for his playable counterpart? No, no, I want those abilities! This was the damn issue with trying to figure out how to make Kahn a playable character. You're going to scrap everything that makes him, him, and then make him playable? Ditch the stone skin, ditch the instant kill x-ray, ditch the armored ability just to make him playable? Fuck that, I don't want to play as a tone down Kahn. I want to play the Kahn that is annoying and cheap with those abilities too! Size doesn't really make a difference in this game as long as you have magic with you. Depending on how they're going to design Shinnok's magic should make a difference seeing how he's the kind of guy who would rely on that than brute strength. That was all what Kahn was. Shinnok shouldn't be easy to tone and balance to act like the other characters because he's as big as them. That's a silly thing to even say, especially after knowing who his character is.

You also stated that the reason why you're so uptight about having Shinnok playable is because he was in the fourth game. Why does that need to be a reason? For all we know, we might get trolled by Boon and have Shinnok not be the final boss. And yeah, I'm heading in that direction with this. Why should Shinnok be playable based on the fourth game? We don't have all the information, we don't know who's in. This game might surprise us with something different happening. Him being playable in the fourth therefore he needs to be playable is a reason I'm just gonna laugh at.

Are those answers acceptable for you to just allow people to have a different opinion than you? Just because you have a hard time understanding why people think "it loses the purpose of a boss," shouldn't mean you have to be constantly against that person when they say that while also saying, "no, they shouldn't be playable."


Alright let's start with the biggest problem with your argument.

You say in your opinion a boss being playable defeats the purpose of being a boss. And yet the entire point of a boss battle is to be challenging not intimidating. I think the intimidation is really just a side effect of a boss that's significantly larger than the player. Shinnok could still be quite intimidating, depending on how he's handled. They could give him super armor, damage buffs, and certain properties on attacks for his boss fight. Things that would make him a real bastard to deal with. I bet if you lost to him 5+ times in a row you'd think " Gee, I guess him being playable really doesn't effect if a boss can be challenging or not".

I'm not sure why you said "In a game like MK playable bosses would have to be toned down and balanced to fight like the other characters". It would be like that for ANY game with a playable boss, not just MK.

Now back to Shinnok. The thing about Shinnok is he was the only boss in MK that was playable in the game he debuted in. It's one of his defining characteristics as a boss. He's a special case in that regard. It's not the strongest argument that's for sure. But it is something that is exclusive to Shinnok.

You're right. MK10 could totally throw us a curveball with who might be the boss. I'm just making an educated guess. MK9 alludes to Shinnok being the main baddy in MK10. I'm just going with all we have at this point.

I honestly don't have a problem with differing opinions. But saying "I feel" doesn't add to the discussion. But if I have a better understanding of your reasoning it certainly helps me in figuring out why you feel the way you do.
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/24/2014 09:04 AM EST
KungLaodoesntsuck Wrote:
You say in your opinion a boss being playable defeats the purpose of being a boss. And yet the entire point of a boss battle is to be challenging not intimidating. I think the intimidation is really just a side effect of a boss that's significantly larger than the player. Shinnok could still be quite intimidating, depending on how he's handled. They could give him super armor, damage buffs, and certain properties on attacks for his boss fight. Things that would make him a real bastard to deal with. I bet if you lost to him 5+ times in a row you'd think " Gee, I guess him being playable really doesn't effect if a boss can be challenging or not".


I wouldn't think that, I would say in my head, "Gee, I really suck at this game."

I don't want to see a boss become weaker and toned down for the sake of being playable. That's not what a boss needs to become. In Eternal Champions, the main boss has different fighting stances that gives him different powers. He's not a playable character, but if he was, he'd lose all of those powers just to be balanced with everyone else. And that's stupid. Having things getting taken away from you just so that you're like everyone else, that loses a crucial part of a boss. What they can deliver. Take that away, you're just an ordinary character, and I'm sorry, I don't want that. That is incredibly dumb.

And if I have to fight Shinnok as Shinnok, I wouldn't have fun at all because I want the same abilities that he has and I know I wouldn't. To me, I want to be intimidated. Of course bosses are supposed to be challenging, if they weren't, I wouldn't say they're intimidating. Kahn certainly wasn't because all I have to do is spam one move and I'm done. Yeah, Mortal Kombat has a crappy AI, always been like that since the beginning. But when they become a challenge, where I literally cannot beat them, they become intimidating to me because I really have to work at how to figure out how to beat them. Knowing what they're like beforehand throws that all away, and it makes me an unhappy camper getting spoiled by a character that's a boss and knowing how they can fight and such just by being them. I don't like that.

KungLaodoesntsuck Wrote:
Now back to Shinnok. The thing about Shinnok is he was the only boss in MK that was playable in the game he debuted in. It's one of his defining characteristics as a boss. He's a special case in that regard. It's not the strongest argument that's for sure. But it is something that is exclusive to Shinnok.


I really don't see him being playable as a defining characteristic of his. To you, fine, to me, I don't. I saw him as a boss character that hardly was a boss to begin with. He was too easy, he hardly had any special moves of his own. His design was nothing special. He really wasn't anything special. I could say the same thing as Shang Tsung. That he's the first ever boss that became playable. But that's not one of his special characteristics that makes Shang Tsung, Shang Tsung.

KungLaodoesntsuck Wrote:
I honestly don't have a problem with differing opinions.


I find that hard to believe since back in your thread about playable bosses, you have to argue every single person that says "no."

KungLaodoesntsuck Wrote:
But saying "I feel" doesn't add to the discussion. But if I have a better understanding of your reasoning it certainly helps me in figuring out why you feel the way you do.


It's an opinion that you can't accept. You HAVE to have a reason why people don't want playable bosses.
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/24/2014 10:52 AM EST
Well you see Icebaby, this thing you're saying about differing opinions and how KungLaodoesntsuck doesn't respect yours is good and all, but there's only one problem. Your need to make bosses unplayable leaves other players unable to play as them. Which means that in this particular case, your opinion is wrong.

How powerful playable bosses should be remains open to debate, but even if the playable versions are weaker than Dan Hibiki from Street Fighter, the AI-controlled versions, on the other hand, aren't. Take Motaro in the PSX version of MKT, for instance. If you avoid playing as the weaker versions, you'll never have to see them weakened, and they can remain intimidating in your eyes, if playable, weaker versions really ruin them that much for you. What is it about just not playing as the bosses if you don't want to that's apparently so hard to understand?

If you're really concerned about a boss' fear factor being ruined, you know what you should really fear? Bad AI. That should be a much bigger concern than weakened playable versions.
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/24/2014 12:00 PM EST
DG1OA Wrote:
If you're really concerned about a boss' fear factor being ruined, you know what you should really fear? Bad AI. That should be a much bigger concern than weakened playable versions.


Indeed.

Being unplayable didn't stop Goro and Kintaro from being literally the weakest characters in MK9 when they SHOULD be the strongest.

Having them get punked out left and right in the storymode didn't help much either.
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/24/2014 12:21 PM EST
DG1OA Wrote:
Well you see Icebaby, this thing you're saying about differing opinions and how KungLaodoesntsuck doesn't respect yours is good and all, but there's only one problem. Your need to make bosses unplayable leaves other players unable to play as them. Which means that in this particular case, your opinion is wrong.


Tell me again how my opinion is wrong when nothing I said is fact? Isn't that what an opinion is? A view about something that doesn't necessarily need to rely on facts? If this is what "I" want, please note the "I" not "we," why is it that a problem?

If other people want playable bosses, fine, that's their opinion. I'm not sitting here telling people that what they want is wrong and they shouldn't say that because other people don't want to see playable bosses. If you, personally, want to see playable bosses, fine then. That's what you want, and I'm not trying to sit here telling you that you need to definitely change your mind on it.

What's even funny is that I've even admitted that I could care less whether or not they are playable. I really wouldn't make that big of a fuss if they are playable. Despite that some of you might say otherwise, I really wouldn't be that bugged if they are. I, as stated several times, not interested in having a boss being playable. So please don't sit here and say that my opinion is wrong when this is just what I'd like to see. And if you don't agree with it, fine, don't agree with it and I'm not forcing you to.


DG1OA Wrote:
How powerful playable bosses should be remains open to debate, but even if the playable versions are weaker than Dan Hibiki from Street Fighter, the AI-controlled versions, on the other hand, aren't. Take Motaro in the PSX version of MKT, for instance. If you avoid playing as the weaker versions, you'll never have to see them weakened, and they can remain intimidating in your eyes, if playable, weaker versions really ruin them that much for you. What is it about just not playing as the bosses if you don't want to that's apparently so hard to understand?


I'm not going to NOT play a character, even if they are a boss. I play as all the characters, even the ones I don't really like. I don't need to avoid one character out of a number of characters because I don't want to see something. Eventually I'll get to that character... so?

DG1OA Wrote:
If you're really concerned about a boss' fear factor being ruined, you know what you should really fear? Bad AI. That should be a much bigger concern than weakened playable versions.


I know the AI sucks, they've always have been since Mortal Kombat 2. I'd like them to fix that problem so that I can have a decent fight instead of fighting something that's just trashy.
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/24/2014 12:35 PM EST
You may want to reread that quote about Shinnok being playable in MK4, Icebaby. I said that Shinnok is the only boss character in MK ever to be playable in his debut. Shang Tsung was not made playable in MK1, which was his debut. See the difference?

And this is the central argument, for me anyway. Is when someone says "playable bosses defeats the purpose of being a boss". That is my problem. It's simply not true. You may feel that way. But it has no actual impact on the boss fight itself and that is a fact.

Now one thing I think we can all agree on is that the AI is fucking atrocious. The AI can make or break the boss fight. You make them too hard like in MK2, and it's basically impossible. You make it too easy like in MK9, and you don't even have to try. They need to find a sweet spot where the boss isn't too unforgiving but isn't a full blown retard.
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/24/2014 01:02 PM EST
Anyone remember fighting against MKDA Quan Chi? His super combo and skulls were very hard to beat, i lost my temper numerous times, and he was not a "big boss" nor was he unplayable.

His difficulty level was just really hard. After the incremental increase all the fighters go through.

Point here is that bosses do not NEED to be hulking huge beasts (but it's OK if they are). It didn't diminish immersiveness for me, in fact i find it MORE immersive if i can play as all the characters. And i find it disappointing to have bosses that are unplayable just for being bosses, as it's a waste of potential having the character there but unusable.

Frankly, "big" bosses like Goro/Kintaro/Kahn in MK(9) were disappointing because their only gimmicks were very cheap (decreased damage, armour etc.) They are slow and predictable, but MKDA Quan Chi or injustice Superman don't feel that way (and are no less intimidating that a "big boss").

A big boss character could be quick, not as predictable and still balanced and playable if the AI difficulty is increased as per usual.
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/24/2014 01:53 PM EST
KungLaodoesntsuck Wrote:
You may want to reread that quote about Shinnok being playable in MK4, Icebaby. I said that Shinnok is the only boss character in MK ever to be playable in his debut. Shang Tsung was not made playable in MK1, which was his debut. See the difference?


There's no need to be a jerk. Cut it out. I was trying to say that I don't see that as a characteristic that stands out. If you couldn't see that and just wanted to be a jerk, knock it off.

KungLaodoesntsuck Wrote:
And this is the central argument, for me anyway. Is when someone says "playable bosses defeats the purpose of being a boss". That is my problem. It's simply not true. You may feel that way. But it has no actual impact on the boss fight itself and that is a fact.


No duh that being a boss and fighting the same guy doesn't effects the actual fight. Everyone knows that. I really don't get why you have a problem when someone just says, "It defeats a purpose of a boss." That is based off of their opinion, which you cannot say, "thats not true." No one needs to say an opinion needs to be truthful or not, it's an opinion. Opinions do not need to be true because you're judging something based on what you see. You can argue about it, which everyone is entitled to. But to simply say that their opinion is not true because you are against what they have to say is something that is utterly pathetic. Let people think what they want. If you seriously have this much of a problem with several people that does not want what you want, then I don't know what you tell you other than just accept that people don't want to see the same as what you want. You can throw facts, or what you think is fact, (which ever) to make your case stronger, other people could and will do the same thing in their defense.

PickleMendip Wrote:
A big boss character could be quick, not as predictable and still balanced and playable if the AI difficulty is increased as per usual.


This got me thinking. Why should larger characters NEED to be slower? Granted that this is a completely different boss from a completely different game genre but, Diablo had some giant bosses, and I'm not referring to the ones that were at standstill. (Fucking Belial) They moved at an average/fast pace than what you'd expect. But, obviously, this isn't really a thread to talk about that kind of stuff. But I just wanted to throw that out there.
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/24/2014 02:10 PM EST
Icebaby Wrote:
KungLaodoesntsuck Wrote:
You may want to reread that quote about Shinnok being playable in MK4, Icebaby. I said that Shinnok is the only boss character in MK ever to be playable in his debut. Shang Tsung was not made playable in MK1, which was his debut. See the difference?


There's no need to be a jerk. Cut it out. I was trying to say that I don't see that as a characteristic that stands out. If you couldn't see that and just wanted to be a jerk, knock it off.

KungLaodoesntsuck Wrote:
And this is the central argument, for me anyway. Is when someone says "playable bosses defeats the purpose of being a boss". That is my problem. It's simply not true. You may feel that way. But it has no actual impact on the boss fight itself and that is a fact.


No duh that being a boss and fighting the same guy doesn't effects the actual fight. Everyone knows that. I really don't get why you have a problem when someone just says, "It defeats a purpose of a boss." That is based off of their opinion, which you cannot say, "thats not true." No one needs to say an opinion needs to be truthful or not, it's an opinion. Opinions do not need to be true because you're judging something based on what you see. You can argue about it, which everyone is entitled to. But to simply say that their opinion is not true because you are against what they have to say is something that is utterly pathetic. Let people think what they want. If you seriously have this much of a problem with several people that does not want what you want, then I don't know what you tell you other than just accept that people don't want to see the same as what you want. You can throw facts, or what you think is fact, (which ever) to make your case stronger, other people could and will do the same thing in their defense.


No need to start name calling. I legitimately thought you misread/misunderstood what I wrote.

And if everybody knows that a boss being playable has no effect on the actual boss fight, why exactly are we arguing? That which is apparently "no duh" was the entire point I've been trying to get across this entire time. All this talk about fact and opinion is completely irrelevant to the discussion.

If I come off as rude or a jerk, I apologize.
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/24/2014 04:20 PM EST
For my personal taste, I don't like when bosses are playable, especially if they are big monster type bosses (Goro, Kintaro, Shao Khan, Moloch, Onaga, Blaze). Shinnok is different because he's the same size as the other fighters on the roster, so I'll be fine with him being playable in MK10.

For me, it's more fun to earn my way to a fight with a boss and it takes something away if I can just pick them from the roster at any time. I'm glad it was done in MKA though, so everyone could get the chance to be all the bosses for at least one game.

And I want to stress that no one's opinion on this matter is wrong, it all comes down to personal taste. Everyone has their reasons for wanting/not wanting playable bosses. This is mine.
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
05/24/2014 04:33 PM EST
KungLaodoesntsuck Wrote:
No need to start name calling. I legitimately thought you misread/misunderstood what I wrote.

And if everybody knows that a boss being playable has no effect on the actual boss fight, why exactly are we arguing? That which is apparently "no duh" was the entire point I've been trying to get across this entire time. All this talk about fact and opinion is completely irrelevant to the discussion.

If I come off as rude or a jerk, I apologize.


I've only been trying to say that it loses the purpose of what a boss is like towards me. I don't want to see a toned down version that's playable because it just loses everything on what a boss is like towards me. I don't want to know what they are ahead of time, and because of what they are in the past shouldn't mean they have to be restricted to do other things, such as Shinnok HAS to be playable because he was in the past. That's all I've been trying to come across with, but you wanted an answer and just couldn't quite see that.

Like I said before, in the end, it really doesn't matter that much whether or not bosses are playable because I wouldn't mind if they are. I just would rather have them not just based on what I stated. You want them playable and you have your reasons which I respect. I just lose it when people say, "You're wrong for having that opinion" or state what I would like to see wouldn't happen because there's no facts behind it. I apologize if I seem like a jerk as well.
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RE: Playable bosses (long post)
06/27/2014 02:31 PM EST
Icebaby Wrote: I like to feel intimidated (at first) going up against a guy I hardly know what their moves are, and how they are played. I like to not know what they are beforehand.


This statement goes away IF the boss is unrevealed and unlockable (e.g. a silhouette), i don't think earning boss characters through gameplay is too much to ask if they are included.
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