Rivals of Aether – Patch 0.0.8 Overview: The Storm Arrives

Dan Fornace's upcoming game, Rivals of Aether, has been in Early Access for a few months now. The game, appearing on Xbox One and PC, has drawn quite some attention for it’s Smash Bros styled gameplay, with interesting twists to the formula. So far, the roster has contained six characters; Zetterburn, Orcane, Wrastor, Kragg, Forsburn and Maypul. However, the update today adds many new things and changes to the game, including the 7th fighter and first “secret” character, Absa! This article will feature some of the big changes that landed today. Without further ado, it’s time to look at the major changes to Rivals!

Absa: The Storm Architect

Absa appears as the second character representing the element of air alongside Wrastor, and the 7th character overall. However, while Wrastor utilizes the wind for his abilities, Absa utilizes the storms and electricity to fight. The creator of a defensive mechanism alongside the Archai Mountains, she studies and mastered the arts of storms for offense. Sensing danger and turmoil that could break the powerful defense, she hones her skills in case the time comes. In the Early Access, Absa is available to play as from the start; however, in the final game, she will be unlockable.

Absa’s playstyle and abilities draw some parallels to Ness and Zelda. Some of Absa’s moves take some inspiration from them in particular, such as all of her aerials, some of her tilts, and her Smash attacks. In addition, she has a floaty second jump, akin to the PK Kids.



Absa’s Normal, Side and Down Specials are all intertwined; they all relate to thunderclouds. Using her neutral special or side special will summon a cloud; the neutral special will set it above or below Absa, while the side is controlled like Din’s Fire. Pressing Neutral Special with a cloud out will cause it to detonate and damage any nearby opponents, but holding the button will create a large electrical wave between Absa and the cloud, damaging anyone unfortunate enough to get caught in the blast. Using Side Special with another cloud out will make the previous one disappear, but it won’t detonate. Absa’s Up Special is very similar to Quick Attack, but unlike Pikachu’s Up Special, using it on the ground once does not take away her jump, allowing for some powerful coverage with the move offstage. Lastly, Absa’s Down Special is her most powerful. Without any clouds active, a small circle of electricity will form around her; anyone who is caught in the vicinity of the blast when it fully forms will suffer heavy damage, and potential stock loss at higher percents. However, with a cloud active, this becomes a stationary land mine. The combo potential and stage control with her clouds, as well as her excellent aerials, makes her a character that definitely fits into the Rivals mold.

Developer Mode: Customized Changes

Thanks to Trevor, the team has added in a special new setting for local play. Introducing Developer Mode, a new take on modifications. Rivals of Aether has a specific folder with a complete set of files, allowing specific variables to be changed on a whim. These are separate from the main game and don’t affect anything outside of this special mode. Said changes can even be implemented in real time by refreshing the game, using F3! Use the C:\Users~yourusername\AppData\Local\RivalsofAether\dev_mode folder to edit things, and toggle on the Devmode setting in Versus; this will enable Devmode and any made changes. This feature won’t work online, but it is a fun thing to play around with.

Game Changes: Global Changes Abound

Like many of the Rivals of Aether patches so far, they have added changes to the core game. This update has featured a variety of changes to each character and the game’s system. Here’s a few of the major changes:
  • New Xmas themed-palettes for each character have arrived and replace the Halloween outfits, replacing that orange and purple tint with some red, white and green.
  • Directional Influence has been changed as a whole again. Rivals as 3 kinds of DI: Traditional DI, Automatic Smash DI and Drift DI. While regular DI wasn’t changed, Automatic Smash DI was changed to work against multi-hit moves, and Drift DI was slightly weakened. This better balances the rift between the defensive game and the offensive game that Rivals tries to aim for.
  • Startup times for hitboxes are more accurate. While this benefits the faster characters more, it is being watched to ensure that the change doesn’t make anything too unbalanced.
  • The start points for the majority of maps has changed for 2 players; stages like Treetop Lodge now no longer start both characters close to each other.
  • Zetterburn has been balanced to make him less dominating at low level play but slightly more effective in high level play.
  • Kragg’s defensive abilities have been edited to be a bit less safe, including a new counter to his Side Special.
  • Forsburn’s Forward Strong was reworked to be less reliable and require more effort from the player, as well as a few other chan purely to his damage output, including Bubble and Back Air nerfs, and Forward Strong, Down Tilt and Up Strong getting buffs.
  • Wrastor’s knockback was reduced, allowing other Rivals to KO him a bit better and combo him more reliably. In addition, he received changes to his aerial recovery on some of his Strong Attacks.
  • Maypul’s Lily has received a few changes; it now has permanence, but can’t trap players unless they are both marked and in hitstun. In addition, she’s received a handful of other changes to adjust her camping and make it better to play against.
  • Gameplay Slowdown due to GPU issues has been acted on; if a computer can’t run the game at 60 PS (such as online, when things could lag), then the game speeds up to match the normal speed. This has been done to prevent awful input lag during online matches.

Overall, this has been a major change for Rivals, and definitely for the better. A new Rival has approached the cast, adding a new layer to the metagame. The identity of the last Rival remains a mystery, however; all that is known is that it’s the second water-themed fighter. That knowledge will no doubt find its way to the public in due time; until then, Rivals players have a new goat to look forward with, and many requested changes being put in for the better of the game.

Want to view the full list of changes, including specific edits to characters? They can be found here.


Rivals of Aether has an official Smashboards Thread, which can be viewed here.

Want to get Rivals of Aether on Steam’s Early Access Program, and start playing today? The game is available on Steam!
 
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Gunla

Comments

Oh man.

Ohh man, Developer Mode...

I was holding off on getting the game so far because I felt I wouldn't have anyone to play with, but this update might change my mind.
 
I know that, But.. Why?
It spawned from our community. Has it's own thread and everything here. Why not support our own people? Especially given that we post non-smash related Nintendo news all the time.
 
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Rivals isn't Smash, and it's not even on a Nintendo console. It shouldn't be featured on a site centered around Smash.
My two cents.
Again, it's an actively-developed game in the same genre - a genre that at present has a relative lack of high-quality content. It's directly inspired by, and targets the players of, Melee; it's made to be purposefully balanced for high-level competitive play, in contrast to the majority of other extant platform fighters, which are mostly balanced for party-game play and have competitive scenes pretty much incidentally.

Personally, I think it's in the best interests of both communities and of the genre as a whole to affiliate in this fashion.
 
I'm excited to see this game evolve! Ever since Smash 64, I wondered "why are there dozens of Street Fighter-inspired game series, but only one Smash?" To this day it still seems odd that we mostly just have the Smash Bros series representing this unique fighting game genre, despite the series' success and solid game mechanics.

Highlighting games like Rivals of Aether is the opposite of "subdividing the community". As mentioned earlier, this game was born out of the Smash community. If anything, it's making a statement that Smash-inspired fighters are more than just Super Smash Brothers, but a legitimate subgenre of competitive fighting games.

I guess the question is: is SmashBoards strictly about Super Smash Brothers? Or the community built around the unique fighting genre that Smash invented? I think it's both.
 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it doesn't even excist on Nintendo, right?
Correct.
Again, it's an actively-developed game in the same genre - a genre that at present has a relative lack of high-quality content. It's directly inspired by, and targets the players of, Melee; it's made to be purposefully balanced for high-level competitive play, in contrast to the majority of other extant platform fighters, which are mostly balanced for party-game play and have competitive scenes pretty much incidentally.

Personally, I think it's in the best interests of both communities and of the genre as a whole to affiliate in this fashion.
I couldn't disagree more. That's like saying Street Fighter V should be featured here for the same reasons. Who cares if it's on PlayStation and and Xbox, developed by Capcom, and has literally NOTHING to do with Smash? As long As it's balanced for high level competitive play, right?
Mods like Project M? THAT helps unify the Melee fan base. And it doesn't compete with Nintendo's interests.
If SmashBoards continues to feature this knockoff piece, then I won't be renewing my premium membership.
 
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Correct.

I couldn't disagree more. That's like saying Street Fighter V should be featured here for the same reasons. Who cares if it's on PlayStation and and Xbox, developed by Capcom, and has literally NOTHING to do with Smash? As long As it's balanced for high level competitive play, right?
Mods like Project M? THAT helps unify the Melee fan base. And it doesn't compete with Nintendo's interests.
If SmashBoards continues to feature this knockoff piece, then I won't be renewing my premium membership.
why are you so mad, just ignore it lol
 
This is smashbards - not IGN.
If RoA was included in an article here, like 'games similar to smash', I'd be fine with it,
but this - no.
 
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The game is connected to Smashboards; not just from the picture I uploaded below but also in the community links below on the main page.

Correct.

I couldn't disagree more. That's like saying Street Fighter V should be featured here for the same reasons. Who cares if it's on PlayStation and and Xbox, developed by Capcom, and has literally NOTHING to do with Smash? As long As it's balanced for high level competitive play, right?
Mods like Project M? THAT helps unify the Melee fan base. And it doesn't compete with Nintendo's interests.
If SmashBoards continues to feature this knockoff piece, then I won't be renewing my premium membership.
It's just a news article and saying "it's dividing the community" is making something look bigger than it actually is.
 

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Correct.

I couldn't disagree more. That's like saying Street Fighter V should be featured here for the same reasons. Who cares if it's on PlayStation and and Xbox, developed by Capcom, and has literally NOTHING to do with Smash? As long As it's balanced for high level competitive play, right?
Mods like Project M? THAT helps unify the Melee fan base. And it doesn't compete with Nintendo's interests.
If SmashBoards continues to feature this knockoff piece, then I won't be renewing my premium membership.
Get over yourself
 
Unless this forum looks exactly how I want it to look, I will not be renewing my keen sense of impermanence before the yawning chasm of mortality
 
That's like saying Street Fighter V should be featured here for the same reasons. Who cares if it's on PlayStation and and Xbox, developed by Capcom, and has literally NOTHING to do with Smash? As long As it's balanced for high level competitive play, right?
False equivalence. Street Fighter V isn't a platform fighter - that is, it's not a game in the same subgenre as Smash. RoA is a platform fighter, one developed by and targeted toward the same people who also play Smash. I take it you also complained when they had features on Super Smash Flash 2, another platform fighter that is also not connected to Smash in any official capacity and that also has no presence on Nintendo consoles?

knockoff piece
I wish people would stop thinking like this. Calling all games in the genre other than Smash "knockoffs" stifles creativity and, in my opinion, is ultimately more harmful to the community than any feature article could be.

In fact, if you actually knew anything about Rivals of Aether, you'd know it isn't a knockoff - although it's inspired by Melee, many of the mechanics are drastic departures from Smash (e.g. no ledgegrabs, parrying instead of shields).
 
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Stellar logic.

That's not what I said.
I apologize for sounding salty or antagonistic, but it's a genuine concern of mine. The community is already split between Melee and Smash 4.
I highly, highly doubt that the community will split over something like this. And if featuring articles other than SSBM or SSB4 is a problem, then Crusade and Flash would also be candidates for splitting the community. But they aren't and don't split the community.

But people get salty towards news articles. I remember when we first started news articles and articles regarding other Nintendo games and were met with "but this is a Smash Bros site" and "This has nothing to do with Smash Bros". It's to be expected.

I find this sort of news refreshing personally. It's not needed but it's a nice addition and a welcomed distraction.
 
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Street Fighter V isn't a platform fighter - that is, it's not a game in the same subgenre as Smash. RoA is a platform fighter
So Digimon Rumble Arena is fair game? Kappa
if featuring articles other than SSBM or SSB4 is a problem, then Crusade and Flash would also be candidates for splitting the community.
As I said earlier, I don't mind Project M, but even lower quality mods are at least bringing focus to the Smash series.
I've already got several subscribed YouTube channels that were once exclusively Smash that are starting to post RoA content in my inbox. I don't have time for all the Smash stuff as it is.
But I've already spoken my piece. I don't have anything else to contribute to this discussion.
 
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Waitaminute, JesseMcCloud is considering not renewing his premium subscription?

THE JesseMcCloud?

THIS IS A CODE RED EMERGENCY EVERYBODY, THIS IS NOT A DRILL

MODS, WHERE ARE YOU NOW WHEN WE NEED YOU MOST? JESSE MCCLOUD ISN'T GOING TO RENEW HIS MEMBERSHIP. WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING? DELETING THIS ARTICLE IS PRIORITY NUMBER ONE. HOW WILL THE SITE CONTINUE TO OPERATE WITHOUT HIM?

We need to delete this article immediately, this is getting completely out of hand. Won't you please think of JesseMcCloud? Have mercy.

This is a game that's not on a Nintendo console. How dare you put this filth up on our clearly Nintendo owned and Nintendo-sponsored website. How dare you feature gameplay of a promising up and coming game that's based on competitive smash, that could use all the publicity it could get.

. . .

Kappa.

Seriously though, Rivals is awesome, and Dan Fornace is awesome. I just hosted a large S4, PM, and RoA tournament for charity. Dan Fornace gave us 10 copies of the game to raffle off for charity -- that's an amazing move. I went out the morning after the tourney and picked myself up a copy to show support. Now I'm hooked.

I for one don't mind supporting this game and supporting this developer, when A) It's clearly based on high level Smash, and B) Dan Fornace went out of his way to support our tournament to help raise money for the homeless.
 
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