Trying to rate the strengths and weaknesses of fighting game characters is mostly subjective and depends on who you ask, but still generally some consensus can be reached through discussion.
inside game We recently spoke with Street Fighter 6 Director Takayuki Nakayama and Producer Shuhei Matsumoto in-depth on a variety of topics, including the tier list and how the developers feel internally about the characters.
After talking about how players initially struggled with E. Honda and JP, but believed they weren’t that extreme, Nakayama goes on to talk more about how he sees their characters and power levels.
Simply put, the director explains that developers often have very different ideas about how overpowered or underpowered fighters are internally compared to hardcore players.
Director Nakayama: “We love seeing the tier lists players put out. It’s totally different from our internal thinking. Even for Street Fighter 5, our opinions were never aligned with the players until the very end.
Most people seem to think Luke is the strongest, but what if we say that our dev team actually thinks Alex is the best?
It was a very interesting comparison considering Alex was consistently listed as one of SF5’s worst characters by pro players, basically until the final season of the game.
among others Final Tier List for Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition, we ranked Alex 26th out of 45 characters. So while the development team felt he was much stronger than what we were seeing, we felt he was still mostly middle tier.
Alex’s example may be a little shocking, but this whole sentiment isn’t all that surprising for several reasons.
First, developers aren’t the best players in the world competing in games every day or every week, so they don’t always see things the same way they do.
Their experience is likely to be better than the average player overall, but they’re not attacked or challenged in the same way personally.
We also have all relevant data at hand to help statistically support our conclusions.
Developers can always see which character wins the most, what they win, and vice versa what players lose.
There’s a pretty simple explanation for why Cammy was still getting buffs in Street Fighter 5 despite winning majors, or top majors, but overall she had one of the worst online win percentages of all.
Trying to balance a fighting game is an unenviable fine line that developers need to consider top player feedback and results, hard data, and their own internal testing to reach a level everyone can enjoy.
You can’t always get this balance “right”, but there are ways to get it right.
Hopefully, we’ll continue to be happy with Street Fighter 6’s balance, considering Capcom and players have said they plan to make a major balance update to the game once a year.
However, they don’t seem to hesitate to make any adjustments they see fit, as they’re adding a new method for doing a dry rush when Rashid arrives a few days later on July 24th.
Translation of this article was provided by Nicholas ‘MajinTenshinhan’ Taylor.