Discussion: The Process of Unlocking Characters and Other Content

Do you like the unlock process in past games?

  • YES! I love spacing out the reveals!

    Votes: 230 55.2%
  • I don't mind it. It's neat once.

    Votes: 106 25.4%
  • I'm not a fan. I try to complete it quickly.

    Votes: 43 10.3%
  • NO! Just lemme play the game!

    Votes: 38 9.1%

  • Total voters
    417

TheBuzzSaw

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#1
It was mentioned that unlocking characters will be "interesting". I genuinely hope so because it is still a grind. Having the entire roster open ASAP is very important especially for having SmashFests.

Previous games put a lot of emphasis on "complete X matches to unlock character Y". I appreciate the motivation to simply play the game to unlock characters, but all this did was cause me to take my brand new game, set the match format to 1-stock, and SD over and over. If Nintendo really wants me to simply enjoy the game and unlock fighters as they become available, the requirement should be "play for X minutes/hours to unlock fighter Y". Granted, that possibly results in it taking longer to unlock stuff, but at least I could comfortably focus on just enjoying the game rather than optimizing this process.

What do you think the new unlock requirements will be? Should there be a trick/code/trigger to simply unlock everything for people who really derive zero joy from unlocking things slowly?
 

McSpanker

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#7
Personally, I'd most like to see something along the lines of sse allowing you to unlock the characters. Makes it a lot more interesting to me and then it makes sense too. I also like having characters being unlocked in ways that aren't just "do x matches/x hours of gameplay". Like completing events/orders, or in other single player modes.

I can also see though why some people might not like it and just want all the characters unlocked at the start. I just felt like in Smash 4, I only played with my main and that was it. I never even really tried other characters so I wouldn't be mad if had to play through most of the roster to get all the characters, might find the character I really want to play as most or who bests fit me.
 

Spider-Link

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#10
I personally love the idea of faster character unlocks. In Smash 4, I STILL haven't unlocked Tails. In my opinion, playing 1000 games of Smash Tour is way too high of a requirement. Anyone else in the same boat?
I hope you’re joking.
 

DaDavid

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#11
Honestly all it would take for me is something like a Classic/Adventure Mode with guaranteed unlocks on completion with certain character, a certain number of characters, etc.

Every couple of matches isn't bad either, but, nobody in a roster this large should be hidden behind any ridiculously high number of matches or play time.
 

Vanguard227

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#14
I loved Melee's method of unlocking stuff.
Things like clearing all the break the target stages, clearing certain event matches, or by playing a certain way to trigger a new challenger fight. It gave the single player modes more replayability, and IMO, makes unlocking characters even more rewarding. Smash 4 did it this way too, to an extent, but I feel like Melee's unlock requirements were more varied and fun to go for. (Well, except for Mewtwo. :p )

I also liked the way Brawl handled unlocking characters as well, by playing through Subspace Emissary and meeting the new characters along the journey. However, we don't know if Ultimate will have a full single-player campaign, so if not, I'd personally stick with Melee's method.
 
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#15
What I'm happy about is this is 50+ unlockable this time

And I'm sure you still have to do a 1 on 1 battle with the character to unlock I mean this screen and sound is a big tradition in smash

But anyway my guess it's not going to be like takes less than 24 to unlock everybody type of easy that's for sure
Definitely will involve going into all modes so you explore the whole game

Maybe for Ridley if the pyrosphere I a stage it could be

"Beat Ridley hazard on pyrosphere" then ofcoarse the 1v1 battle against playable Ridley after the match
 
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staindgrey

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#16
If you unlock characters primarily through number of matches played, I'll enjoy it. We're having friends over for launch day and plan on playing it all day long. Getting that "CHALLENGER APPROACHING" warning and putting the pressure on whoever just won to unlock the character sounds fun, and we all experience the new characters at the same time.

If I were playing alone on launch day, I'd hate the unlocking bit. I just want to test all of the characters immediately.
 

TheBuzzSaw

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#17
I really did enjoy it my first time with Melee, and I suppose its fair for those new to the series. (I have to remind myself that most customers do not watch E3 or dig for information online.) It's just become a one-and-done kind of thing for me. I'm now significantly more interested in playing all the characters and building the meta than experiencing the momentary rush of discovering a new challenger. I'm honestly considering bringing my Switch to work and just SD'ing constantly between tasks.
 

Ryu_Ken

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#18
Not gonna lie, when it was announced that the starting roster "may be as small as Smash 64's" in the Nintendo Direct, that got me really excited. At the same time, however, it got me a little worried, and that's because of the game's giant roster of fighters.

Brawl handled unlockables the best out of all the games in my opinion, and that was because of its Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary. You could unlock every character through this campaign, and I've been keeping my fingers crossed for a mode like this to return for the longest time. However, seeing as how this game is going to have around 65+ fighters, the chances of an Adventure Mode like Brawl returning seems dim considering we didn't get ANY Adventure Mode in Sm4sh. I'm still slightly hopeful, but I'm not holding my breath.

I know many Smash players want to get into the action from the get-go, but the casual side of me wants to experience the satisfaction that comes from seeing and unlocking everything this game has to offer. I'm sure "Play X number of matches" is going to return as an unlockable condition, but I'm very interested to see what/how things can be unlocked through the game's modes.
 
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#19
Not gonna lie, when it was announced that the starting roster "may be as small as Smash 64's" in the Nintendo Direct, that got me really excited. At the same time, however, it got me a little worried, and that's because of the game's giant roster of fighters.

Brawl handled unlockables the best out of all the games in my opinion, and that was because of its Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary. You could unlock every character through this campaign, and I've been keeping my fingers crossed for a mode like this to return for the longest time. However, seeing as how this game is going to have around 65+ fighters, the chances of an Adventure Mode like Brawl returning seems dim considering we didn't get ANY Adventure Mode in Sm4sh. I'm still slightly hopeful, but I'm not holding my breath.

I know many Smash players want to get into the action from the get-go, but the casual side of me wants to experience the satisfaction that comes from seeing and unlocking everything this game has to offer. I'm sure "Play X number of matches" is going to return as an unlockable condition, but I'm very interested to see what/how things can be unlocked through the game's modes.
Yea all the game modes for sure Will be involved of unlocking the characters for sure especially since there is 50+ unlockables this time
 

Khao

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#20
Honestly I hope that the main method of unlocking character is not through X amount of VS Matches. Or at least have them spaced decently. Simply because once I start playing I want to get a good freaking taste of the first 8 characters before getting my first unlock. I don't just want to play each of them once and immediately get someone new. I thought it was super silly how in Sm4sh I'd be rewarded with new characters even before I got to freaking see all of the starters in action.

But yes, the unlocking method should still be fast so that you can get straight to the point if that's what you want. And they could do it so that there's not necessarily an "order" like in previous Smash games (where a specific amount of VS matches unlocked a specific characters), but having simple requirements for every fighter that can just be met whenever.

For example, instead of playing 10 VS Matches to unlock Luigi and 20 to unlock Falco, there could be things like... Get 3 KOs in a single match as Mario to unlock Luigi and win 2 matches as Fox to unlock Falco. If you just play normally unknowingly, those things won't happen immediately, but they absolutely will happen eventually, and absolutely not at the same time. If you just want to unlock them immediately and know the requirements, you can get them both out of the way in as little as two games, and in any order you want. Extend this thing to the whole cast and spread a few of them over to different game modes, and I think it would be fun while still allowing you to unlock every character in a short amount of time.

Also, I think it would be nice if there was a screen that actually showed you the requirements of the characters and looked a lot like the challenges. You unlock one character, and you get a hint on how to unlock the next.
 
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C3CC

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#23
Watch us have to play 20 hours to unlock Mewtwo again as a callback to Melee.

I just hope they keep it interesting. I mean, they will have to make it interesting. Unlocking 50+ in similar methods would be boring as hell. I just hope it's not like Brawl. 5 fights to get Ness? 5 more for Marth? Come on, make me work for my characters.
 

Xigger

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#24
tldr; Every 5 matches, choose a fighter to unlock from a psuedo-random list. After every unlock you get +1 fighter unlock per 5 matches.

My very long and detailed prediction: Every 5 matches, before the match goes to the Results screen, you have the option to choose who to fight, and you can pick who to fight from a small list of silhouettes. The list of silhouettes will be pseudo-random, but will always feature fighters from each Smash game, and will give some preference to the same franchises as the fighters selected by the players. Every time you unlock a fighter, you can choose an additional character to fight during the next unlock.

Now to explain...

Starting with Brawl, you could unlock all characters with VS matches alone. Brawl required 450 matches to unlock 14 fighters, and Smash4 only required 120 matches for 12 fighters. (or 8 in Smash Wii U.) With 54+ unlockable fighters, the game needs to unlock fighters much faster, but you also don't want to fight to unlock a new character every other match.

That issue is avoided by gradually increasing the unlocking speed. If you can unlock 1 fighter, then 2, then 3, all the way up to 7 per unlock match, then you could feasibly unlock all characters in 55 matches, as opposed to about 270 matches. That would allow players to unlock fighters at their own pace, either as fast as possible, or slowly if they'd rather not fight 7 unlockables at once. Also, unlocking 54+ characters in 55 matches almost equates to 1 unlockable per match, but spread out rather than interrupting every single game. Which sounds really cool.

As for how the fighters are picked, it wouldn't be as fun if the selection was random, or purely scripted like past Smash games. Smash Ultimate pays homage to the fighters' entry numbers, so it would be fitting to unlock characters in a similar order too. At the same time, there would be no point in having a selection if it didn't provide much choice. The game should also pay attention to which fighters are being chosen, and offer unlockables in those same franchises, or in similar solo-repped franchises, like Yoshi or Captain Falcon.

It would be really amazing if the game also offered unlockable fighters through other types of connections, for example choosing Ganondorf if you're playing Captain Falcon, or female fighters, or third parties.

EDIT: Every Smash game still offers specific ways to unlock fighters, and I don't think that's going to disappear. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't put it past Sakurai to put the list of unlockables and their requirements in the game itself.
 
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#25
Me, I'm hoping they'll have a combination of multiple unlock methods so that they're all unlockable through the 1P mode, Smash Vs., and Collecting stuff myself.

I have two ideal versions as well besides the standard unlock via completing and doing various things in the 1P stuff.
1. Melee-Style Adventure mode that starts out simple, but expands with universes as you find and unlock characters. Have routes that open up only when you reach and access it with the right character. (Maybe perma-open so that others can get through after clearing).
2. Great Cave Offensive-Style Adventure. Only this time, instead of hunting treasures, you're tracking down fighters, gathering them in other to take on the many bosses of the Adventure. Yes, I know this is likely a Great Maze, but making the areas actual places and locales, with the relevant enemies (or guests), and it should be a bit less of a bore. Mix it up by having those fighters be hidden behind doors that lead to events, making you need certain characters to clear them.

This is just my wish for things, that's all.
 

Arcadenblog

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#26
I think it'll be like unlocking weapons in Splatoon, as in there will be a leveling/EXP system. Doing anything, be it versus matches, single player modes like Classic or All-Star, or even Online matches, will net you EXP. Once you level up, you get a character.

Another way would be for characters to be purchasable with Smash coins, but I don't think that'll be received too well.
 

Khao

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#27
Okay so, interesting stuff.

https://sourcegaming.info/2018/06/20/smash-is-special-part-1-sakurais-famitsu-column-vol-557/

Masterhero Samurai said:
I’ve decided to limit the number of fighters initially available to the original Nintendo 64 roster. This will keep the process of unlocking new challengers fun and exciting, but I suppose it’s a bit of a hassle in comparison with other fighting games that allow all players to fight under the same conditions from the get-go.

Personally speaking, I find that, when I pick up a fighting game, I often put it down before I get around to playing all of the different characters. The more characters there are, the more that go untouched, and the less strategic things become, so it’s hard to say that simply adding more characters is a flawless idea. However, Smash is a character-based fighting game, and there are plenty of players out there eagerly awaiting the opportunity to play as their favorite character. I wrestled with this problem quite a bit while deciding whether to include everyone.

Take racing games, for example. Rather than allow players to use any car from the very beginning, I feel it’s more enjoyable from a gaming perspective to have players earn winnings from races and purchase new models that way. This type of game enables players to develop a strong attachment to the cars they acquire. I’ve included a similar process in Smash by which each unlockable fighter is obtained. Collecting every model in driving games is merely a dream for most players, but rest assured: I won’t be doing anything quite that difficult. I’ve come up with several methods for unlocking fighters, so it should be comparatively simple.
The most important thing to take from this is that there's several methods for unlocking fighters.

That should make things fun, I think. Maybe after the game is out it might be nice to figure out the fastest way to unlock everyone by combining multiple methods at once?
 

DaDavid

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#28
I definitely get where Sakurai is coming from, but, personally I feel like the thrill of unlocking characters never was the same as in Melee. Not necessarily because of the methods, but because that was the last game where I didn't know the full roster before launch. Obviously the fact that I can't help myself from spoilers isn't good reason to steal some kid's enjoyment when they first see that their favorite whoever is in the game.

And I suppose it's true that this will force me to use some characters who I may otherwise have ignored completely. Nobody on that starting 64 roster was really on my radar at all, but now I'll have to figure out someone that I don't hate doing the early unlocking with.
 

Ryu_Ken

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#29
The several methods part definitely has me excited because that means the game's "Solo/Co-Op" modes will probably be a part of the unlock conditions (possibly unlockable modes, even). I'm hoping those modes get revealed the closer we get to the game's release.
 

ZeroJinKui

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#31
i just hope the unlocking process isn't difficult/challenging... cause i don't have the time or patience to pour into becoming a great player.

i was perfectly fine unlocking characters through a certain number of matches or through a certain amount of play time.

so, whatever this "interesting" process is, i hope it's possible for bad players to pull off, as well.
 

DaDavid

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#32
i just hope the unlocking process isn't difficult/challenging... cause i don't have the time or patience to pour into becoming a great player.

i was perfectly fine unlocking characters through a certain number of matches or through a certain amount of play time.

so, whatever this "interesting" process is, i hope it's possible for bad players to pull off, as well.
If there's one thing I'm sure of it's that Sakurai won't lock content behind difficult, skill based challenges. Even if there is an option to unlock characters "early" through things like beating classic on ultra mega hard or whatever, I'm sure you will also be able to get the same characters through total play time or match number.
 

Xigger

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#33
i just hope the unlocking process isn't difficult/challenging... cause i don't have the time or patience to pour into becoming a great player.

i was perfectly fine unlocking characters through a certain number of matches or through a certain amount of play time.

so, whatever this "interesting" process is, i hope it's possible for bad players to pull off, as well.
Always is easy for less skilled players. Here, let me show you some sample unlock methods to put your mind at ease:

Ness: Reflect 10 projectiles, or play 5 matches.
Snake: Play on Shadow Moses Island 15 times.
Marth: Beat Classic Mode on any difficulty, with any number of continues.
All characters in Smash 4: Play 120 matches.
 

TheBuzzSaw

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#34
I like that Melee had a fallback system. If you fail to unlock a character the "normal" way, you will eventually unlock that character through VS mode. Granted, the VS mode fallback were in the hundreds of matches.
 
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#36
Having the characters be unlockable gives me something to look forward to, and goals to work towards.

Right out of the gate I want 3 characters: :ultike:, :ultganondorf:, & :ultzelda:. Then I'll work towards :ultdoc:, :ultwolf:, :ultsnake:, :ultcloud:, :ultwario:, & :ultyounglink:.

I'm sure I'll unlock a bunch of other characters along the way, but these are my main goals.

Edit: I'm just hoping the "Challenger Approaching" screen comes with an incredible sound. Brawl's sounded like a Police Siren. (I can't remember what Sm4sh used).

But Melee had THIS monster of a noise:


Holy crap, that was frightening when I was little. I miss it so much!
 
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soviet prince

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#37
I like that Melee had a fallback system. If you fail to unlock a character the "normal" way, you will eventually unlock that character through VS mode. Granted, the VS mode fallback were in the hundreds of matches.
all the games have a fallback system
 

PF9

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#38
Once I get the game first thing I do is play me-against-1-CPU VS. matches, set to 1 stock, 300% damage and a 2.0 launch rate until everyone is unlocked.

That was what I did in Smash 4, took 120 matches on the 3DS and 101 on the Wii U (due to 2 attempts at unlocking the last character). For the record, I won most, but not all the VS. matches indicated (winning a match on these conditions requires perfect timing).
 

Xigger

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#39
I like that Melee had a fallback system. If you fail to unlock a character the "normal" way, you will eventually unlock that character through VS mode. Granted, the VS mode fallback were in the hundreds of matches.
all the games have a fallback system
Maybe he meant to say Melee STARTED the fallback system. Or maybe that's the last Smash game he's ever played, idk.

Number of matches to unlock all characters:
Melee: 1000 matches
Brawl: 450
SSB4: 120
SSBU:
 
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