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Smash Bros. Online Mode Confirmed 60

Posted by Zonk
from the fancy-lad-takes-on-all-challengers dept.
FiringSquad confirms the best news a Wii owner could hope for: online play is a go for Smash Bros. Brawl . This is the news from the official website for the game, and the site discusses the various modes the game will support. You can (of course) play with friends, and you'll be able to use cute little pre-entered taunts on each other. You can also play with strangers, but the game has some serious restrictions on that kind of play: "You can also battle with people you don't know who are looking for brawls. The most important point here is that you will not know each other's names. Your opponent will not know your name or any information about you, and neither of you can send short messages. There will also be no battle records kept for this mode, so whether you win or lose, it doesn't matter. Just sit back and play."
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Smash Bros. Online Mode Confirmed

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  • I hope... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tarun713 (782737) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @12:58PM (#20669455)
    I hope that for random online play with strangers they at least include some sort of skill matchup like Tetris DS did. It was fantastic, depending on your score, 1-1000, you'd be matched up against someone with that same score - and it worked well, my matchups were regularly against people who were just as good as I was. Totally random play would get frustrating for newbies and boring for the more hardcore players if bad matchups occur frequently.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Neo_piper (798916)
      Looking at the "real depth of effort" that went into the Wii's "premier" online game Pokemon Battle Revolution you can be assured of a "quality" online experience.

      Please replace all words in quotes with the four letter curse word/s of your choice.
    • by swerk (675797)
      It would surprise me greatly if there wasn't some manner of skill-matching, given the plethora of other options this game will have. (Have you seen the settings for weighting the random music selections on a per-stage basis?)

      Anonymous battles could keep a ranking that is never exposed, so people don't get assy about it, or the "skill" rating could be derived from other data, local and friend battle records, or even performance in single-player, etc.

      Another option, the one I think will probably be implement
    • Re:I hope... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by the dark hero (971268) <adriatic_hero&hotmail,com> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @02:08PM (#20670605) Homepage

      Totally random play would get frustrating for newbies and boring for the more hardcore players if bad matchups occur frequently.

      Are all your friends equally skilled at Smash'? No, but you play anyway because it's fun. Win or lose.

      • by valintin (30311)
        Yeah but that's with friends, not with random users on the network. If you are fighting unknown people it needs to be able to match them to your level.
        • My younger sister who doesn't play a ton of videogames has been able to best me in several matches on smash bros. The inclusion of items, and with the general mayhem, its hard to match players based on skill. Just try it out and see what the results are. My bet is that ranked matches are only necessary for those top tier players. The pros.
          • Kinda sounds like you suck. No offense :P
            • by LKM (227954)
              Well, he probably does suck, but he's still right :-)

              I usually win in Melee. I'm a lot better than my friends. But I'd say in about 1 out of 5 matches, I get destroyed. There's a random element in Melee that can really turn a battle around, and allow bad players to remain somewhat competitive.
              • It's like someone once told me in high school. He'd been playing CS pretty much since alpha or something, and I'd only just started. I said I was sure I'd be able to kill him - he agreed, but said that he'd win more consistently, and he was probably right (but only since I was a n00b at that point :p ). If you can win 4/5 matches you're obviously the better player. I played SSB with my sister on an old SNES we found at a holiday home and pwned her. She found it boring and repetitive though. I guess some peo
            • no offense taken. give me your friend code and i'll see you in december. ;] my e-mail is right up there. :P
              • lol I haven't touched my Wii for months. So to speak. I wouldn't call myself an expert at SSB, probably have all of an hour or 2's experience. Not wussing out or anything >_> hehehe. Ask me again in December and then we'll see, I guess I probably will get the thing if I'm not still addicted to MUDding
        • "If you are fighting unknown people it needs to be able to match them to your level."

          Why?
          • by tepples (727027)

            If you are fighting unknown people it needs to be able to match them to your level."
            Why?
            Would you want be unable to complete even one attack for three minutes straight every time you played the game? Or should the game require players to beat Brawl's equivalents of classic on very hard, 100 Man Melee, and x number of event matches, before the game unlocks online play vs. strangers?
            • "Would you want be unable to complete even one attack for three minutes straight every time you played the game?"

              What part of "random" means "top notch"? Random means that sometimes you will fight against a very hard competitor, and sometimes someone as "bland" as you. Probably, since this kind of distributions tend to be F-Fisher, the problem, if any, will be for the good ones, since most of the time will fight against lessen enemies making it a bit boring.
          • by valintin (30311)
            Because it gets boring A) being beaten all the time by people who are hyped up on speed or B) defeating people all the time that move slower than molasses.

            Unless you can pick the server and/or find people who are within your skill set it just doesn't make for a good experience overall.

            Playing with friends is different, because you have a real social connection there. That one time that you finally defeated "Mikey" become a socially significant event that over shadows the 300 games that you have lost to him
    • by StikyPad (445176)
      Considering "no records will be kept of the match," I think it might be a little difficult to match up players by skill level, eh? Anonymous fighting I like. (Who doesn't? Oh right.. the first rule..) But lack of score.. not so much.
    • The problem with match-ups by skill is figuring out what skill everyone has. In Tetris you're manipulating blocks, so your single player score will correlate with how well you do in multiplayer, but that's not the case in Smash. I'm terrible at the single player mode in Melee, but I've kicked the asses of people who've beaten all the single player modes on Very Hard because I don't act like the computer they're used to. Even a record of matches won/lost doesn't tell the whole story, because you don't kno
  • I can only hope such a game works better on LAN
  • The Wii is a family platform, and parents aren't going to want to have their kids exposed to online predators through it. If the player still wants to meet people, they obviously have internet access. The only drawback is that online play with strangers may be random; you fight against somebody great then you get some real stinkers. Since they don't keep score of the stranger fights, they probably won't have any form of ranking you can use as a yardstick.
  • by swerk (675797) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:05PM (#20669573) Journal
    I foresee some whining about the fact that it won't build up ranking data from anonymous battles, but after playing several DS games online, this setup actually sounds like a good thing to me. Hear me out. :^)

    In Mario Kart, random, non-friend battles are ranked. So, when some lamer is losing, he quits. Wouldn't want to blemish his record. Game over, no getting to finish, no closure. In Planet Puzzle League, the Smash Bros approach is taken, and random battles are "free". Not ONCE has somebody dropped out mid-game on me, no matter how badly I was pounding them. And no matter how badly I was being pounded, the little devil on my right shoulder never even suggested dropping out.

    Take away the stats in anonymous mode, and suddenly the incentive to be a prick for the sake of some arbitrary numbers, dissolves. If you still want the bragging rights, play within a known circle of friends, which should also reduce the prick incentive. This way we can concentrate on having fun playing a kickass game, instead of worrying about the metadata. That might seem wussy to the frat boy Halo crowd, but to me, it's what gaming has always been about.
    • by GeckoX (259575) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:23PM (#20669863)
      Makes sense.

      Just a thought on top of that though...why wouldn't they track quit games as a stat? That would really fix those 'perfect record' lamers when their stats show up as win:11, loss:0, quit:999.
      • by aj50 (789101)
        Worms 2: Open Warfare does, not sure about any other games.
      • by xenocide2 (231786)
        Picross DS's competitive online mode (don't ask) also penalizes disconnects. It's slightly unfortunate as the DS's wireless range is not all that good, but if the other option is losers disconnecting to avoid penalty I'm for it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sciros (986030)
      Well said. Smash Bros has always been about playing with friends, anyway. There's definitely something to be said for privileging gameplay on a more personal level.

      Besides, if matches were to be "ranked," then there would have to be a standard setup. And that might be fine with some people, but it wouldn't be with others. There's no scenario where I could see Nintendo pleasing *everyone* without making a highly complex setup. Many Smash tourneys use the MLG rules, but even those evolve over time.

      This way pe
    • Except then you lose any chance at automated match-making.

      Think about starcraft and warcraft 3. If as a newbie you try to play a random game on starcraft battle-net chances are you'll be matched up against an insanely good player and the game would be no fun. On WC3, when you first start playing you might find the matches too easy, as you get matched up with beginners, but after a few games you'll quickly hit a level where people have a similar skill level as you do and games start to be fun and challenging
      • Why couldn't you match people up based on how well they do in ranked matches? I have no clue as to how Smash Bros' ranking works, so let's just use a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best). If I'm a 5 out of 10 in ranked matches, then I could get opponents ranked anywhere from 3 to 7. If I'm a 1, then I'd get people ranked 1 - 3.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Sciros (986030)
          The problem is, what exactly are people going to be ranked *in*? Smash Bros has so many ways to be played that many people switch the settings up match after match, and every unique setup has an effect on what player performs better.

          Competitive SSBM matches tend to be 1v1 or 2v2 (team attack on), with rather specific settings (that change over time as the community decides what levels are and aren't well-balanced, etc.). Should ranking be limited to setups of this sort? What if you're interested in being ma
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574)
      I just wish Nintendo didn't have to compensate for the fact that people aren't good sports. In any game, ranked or not, I haven't dropped out unless there was something I needed to attend to right away. To do otherwise is just tacky. I understand Nintendo's decision, and I'm not mad at them. I'm mad at the people who made this decision necessary.
    • How about just making quitting count as a loss and then there's no incentive to quit even with rankings?
  • I'm really quite thrilled about this. Considering Nintendo's track record with online gaming however, I really hope they know to allocate enough server power and broadband such that it prevents any sort of lag. If you have any kind of lag in a fast-paced game like this, it can really mean the difference between in-game life or death. Since nobody would dare consider direct IP-to-IP functionality for console gaming, playing within a LAN will likely not make a difference. So while Smash Bros. online sounds
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lexarius (560925)
      Why no IP-to-IP action? Technical concerns? The system could try to do this (check to see if there's a NAT in the way, check to see if we've got exposed ports anyway, try to ask the gateway to give us some ports via UPnP, etc), and then fall back on hosted if it has to. Privacy concerns? Possibly, though getting a random user's IP address isn't that useful these days since botnets are powerful enough to sweep large chunks of IP space anyway. Cheating concerns? There's a possibility. "Never trust the client"
    • by radish (98371)
      Since nobody would dare consider direct IP-to-IP functionality for console gaming

      *cough*Xbox Live*cough*

      They seem to get along pretty well with peer networking.
  • Whenever the Gamecube first came out, a lot of people were talking about internet readiness and online mode capabilities, which is one of the reasons that I really wanted SSBM, because I figured that it would be the first game anyone would make online-capable. So yeah, I was pretty sad the day I found out that it didn't have support for anonymous international whuppage.

    I've been waiting for this feature since around 2000, so this totally just made my day. Hopefully they make it an easy connection process r

  • That with newer games that online play has to be confirmed. I mean, this game is follows in the footsteps of a great game to play with other friends. What happens when your friends move? You can't just drive over, you need online play if you want to play with them.
  • Say you know 2 people beside yourself that owns a Wii. Are you then stuck with only 3 players match at most with your friends?
  • by Sciros (986030) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:37PM (#20670055) Journal
    It's a good idea to make online battles non-ranked. A huge reason is that Smash battles are so customizeable. Item frequency (if any), the items available for the match, the number of lives per player (or maybe HP, or maybe coins collected? etc), the levels allowed via random select, team attack on/off, handicap on/off, etc.

    There is so much to bother with that it would be nigh-impossible to implement a reliable ranking system that actually reflects any sort of skill. If all you want to be ranked in is no-item 4-stock 10-minute-timer 1v1 on a subset of stages (typical of SSBM singles tourneys), you'd have seek out opponents willing to play that particular setup. Across what setups would they by chance be ranked, and would some care?

    It's basically a pointless and overly complicated system as a result.

    If rankings were to matter, they'd have to be on some common terms (e.g. MLG rules), and in Smash coming up with those common terms is far from easy, nor is it reasonable to expect everyone who wants to play a ranked match online to want to observe them in the first place. Considering that even MLG Smash tournament rules evolve over time, this system would have to be updated semi-regularly.

    With all this in mind, given that there IS no standard "setup" for online matches, a matchmaking system based on wins-losses would be very unreliable (and possibly fragment the online playerbase).
    • by Gravatron (716477)
      Just make the ranked matches running off Nintendo's servers. You know, like most every other ranked game works online in the industry. Nintendo probabaly won't do that because It would cut into profits and make their work more difficult, as they don't have a sutable online infrastructure nor do I think will they make one anytime soon. Sounds like the one for smash brothers is just a random matchmaking thing.

      Always made me wonder why Nintendo gets free pass after free pass for lacking features/informati

      • by Sciros (986030)
        Sounds like you don't actually know what Smash Bros is, if that's your suggestion in response to what I posted. It's not a technological issue; it's one of interface, efficiency, and ultimate usefulness.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LKM (227954)
        What GP is saying is that games are too unpredictable to rank players, and if you impose restrictions, ranked matches become too specific. If you've ever played a Smash Bros game, you'll know that there are different game types, dozens of different items, vastly different characters (some of which are generally not allowed in competitions) and playstyles, and extremely different levels (some of them even scroll or turn). You can be a great Smash Bros player under specific settings, and suck under different
  • If everyone is so worried about the non-ranked anonymous brawls why don't they just call some friends over? To me thats the ultimate Smashbros experience. I hardly have a tough time finding three other people to play Smashbros with. If you're a loner and a fan of Smashbros how did you get by in the first place? I won't plan on playing too much online with this game, but i do welcome the addition. It'll be nice to play some humans instead of AI for practice games.
    • by tepples (727027)

      If everyone is so worried about the non-ranked anonymous brawls why don't they just call some friends over?
      Because airfare is expensive.

      I hardly have a tough time finding three other people to play Smashbros with.
      Where do you live, and how did you find these friends?
      • I understand if you're far away from your mates. I live in Dallas Texas and i met people with similar interests through networking. When enough friends are around i usually suggest a good game of Smash.
        • by satoshi1 (794000)
          Or college. GREAT place to find some people for a game of Melee. Especially at a nerd school.
          • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Fantastic! whenever I want to play some Smash Bros., I'll just enroll at the local college!
      • Where do you live, and how did you find these friends?
        One of the local game stores here does regular tournaments. Go to your local stores (especially the ones that are not Gamestop) and ask around. Even if there's none currently, you might put the idea in some manager/owner's head and s/he might start one.
  • I agree fully that unranked random online play will reduce lamers dropping out to raise their score, its one of the things that made me stop playing Mario Kart DS online after awhile. But more than that, I think customer service and satisfaction issues might be weighing in to the decision to not rank and rank match...

    Because of the possibility of lag, its very likely that occasionally people will lose or die due to a lag glitch. They see the screen pause, the other charater "teleports" across the screen,
  • 1) In this system, there is no way to affect your opponent's "reputation." The low-down dirtiest exploiter could join in and ruin any game. You can weed these people out in Xbox Live.

    2) There is no reason to stay in a game if you are losing. In Xbox Live, you are counted down severely for leaving a game early (DNF). You can add filters in Xbox Live to only play players with low DNF %.

    3) Little replay factor. Moving up in rankings gives players a completely new and fun way to play.

    4) Competiti
    • by pokerdad (1124121) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @03:36PM (#20671673)

      3) Little replay factor. Moving up in rankings gives players a completely new and fun way to play.

      Depends on the player if rankings is a plus or a minus (though at Slashdot plus is probably in the majority). Just as an example, amoungst a group of friends I used to play GC games with was one player who despite gaming as much as we did was never very good at any games. In games that either didn't keep detailed ongoing stats, or at least didn't make them highly visible during game play(like SSBM), he could go all night without winning a match without a care in the world; in games that constantly reminded you of who has won the most (like MK Double Dash), he would start getting really depressed after about an hour.

      4) Competitiveness. You will find many players just goofing off since the game has no impact on anything. If you are a competitive player, it is no fun to play someone who isn't. The opposite is also true.

      I totally agree with you, its just that I happen to see this as a plus for SSBB, not a minus. If the ultra-competitive players are going to go off and play Halo 3, rather than matching up against me, I won't shed a tear.

    • by tepples (727027)

      There is no reason to stay in a game if you are losing. In Xbox Live, you are counted down severely for leaving a game early (DNF).
      Tetris DS counts DNF as a plain old loss. Do Xbox Live games count DNF as worse than a loss?
    • 2) There is no reason to stay in a game if you are losing.

      There is no reason to leave a game if you are losing. And if you do leave, it won't matter in the end since you're not stealing a "victory" from someone else's stats.

      3) Little replay factor. Moving up in rankings gives players a completely new and fun way to play.

      I don't think you understand how RANDOM this game is.

      4) Competitiveness. You will find many players just goofing off since the game has no impact on anything. If you are a competitive pl

  • Possible issues (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RyoShin (610051) <tukaro AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @03:31PM (#20671609) Homepage Journal
    Like many Smash Brothers fans, I had to change my pants after reading the announcement yesterday. Even so, I can't help but see a lot of potential problems. I'm trying not to lay them in too much, as we only have preliminary information, and some of my concerns may be addressed in future updates.
    • Random Play Matching
      I love the idea that random play isn't about stats or ranking. This makes it easier to get into a game just for fun. However, one large problem I see with it right now is uneven matches. Without a ranking system, you could walk into a match and either have your ass handed to you very quickly, or get a complete newbie and have no challenge what so ever (some will delight in this, I don't find it that useful).

      I hope that there is a ranking system, but that's it's invisible, and used merely to have good match ups between users. The ranking would likely work the same that it did in Multiplayer for Melee- everyone starts with five stars or so (out of 10), and as you win or lose your star level goes up or down, respectively. Then you only fight with people within one star level of yourself (so someone with eight stars won't be matched to someone with two).

    • Lack of Communication in Random
      The lack of communication means I won't have to deal with some 12 year old calling me a "fag" when I toss them off a cliff. While being free of annoying idiots during play is great, I'd really love some way to meet up with people after a match, if only to tell them congratulations. Perhaps a system where one person says "I want to contact this player, and these two can contact me", and if two people request/give contact permission the system can hook them up.

    • Small Friend Roster
      Take a look at one of the screenshots that lists "you" and three of your friends. Note the "3/64" in the screenshot. While we can't be sure, some discussion has lead to the idea that you are limited to only 64 friend codes for the game, out of the 250 or so allowed in the Wii system itself.

      Another concern that springs to mind is the Law of Kevin Bacon- if your friend invites you and two of his friends, who are not on your machine as friends, to a battle, will the system disallow the match because you are not their "friends" too? That is, can you only battle with people who you have one degree of separation with, regardless of who sets up the match? This seems crazy, but Nintendo can be overzealous about online stuff. ("Think of the children", etc.)

    • Lack of random communication
      As I said, I like the idea of silent battles, but there are times when it's fun to just bullshit with people. I would think that the ability to "hear" other people could be a user or system preference. Perhaps tie it in with the Wii's Parental Controls.
    As I said, we only have preliminary information, so hopefully these will be taken care of before the game's release (though, with but three months to go, I doubt these would make it into the game if they're not already, even if there was a large outcry).
    • Random Play Matching
      I love the idea that random play isn't about stats or ranking. This makes it easier to get into a game just for fun. However, one large problem I see with it right now is uneven matches. Without a ranking system, you could walk into a match and either have your ass handed to you very quickly, or get a complete newbie and have no challenge what so ever (some will delight in this, I don't find it that useful).


      If I were Nintendo, I'd have a dozen or two people playing in the same (special,
  • ...announcement, and it definitely hasn't disappointed me.

    The Super Smash Bros. series is probably the only game(s) I've ever been crazy about buying, so I've been following the website somewhat diligently. Even though a friend of mine who follows the website more diligently said that they [Nintendo] have already announced this before, I decided to be stubborn and wait for an official announcement.

    I gave a shout of joy and a little dance when I read the title "Wi-Fi Play".

    Since I know almost nothing about o

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