Mortal Kombat 11 is already one of the year’s best games, but it’s not quite a flawless victory. There are small issues here in there that NetherRealm could address in part of its promised long-term commitment to the game. Cutting down the oppressive towers and grindy economy was a necessary first step in that process, but there are other areas NetherRealm should address (without crunching in the process). This list of changes we want to see in MK11 go beyond the upcoming DLC fighters and inevitable balance tweaks and would help the game stay healthy in the long run. After all, this more about what we want to see changed and not what we want to see added.
Mortal Kombat 11 Wish List | Break away from the Breakaway
Breakaways are Mortal Kombat 11’s answer to the Breaker of past entries and they’re quite similar in theory. But NetherRealm has ditched the better option for a newer one. Breakaways are functional but aren’t as useful against characters with lower juggle potential. Since you have to be in the air to use a Breakaway, it’s not as useful against fighters who only have short but damaging combo strings that don’t lead to air combos.
Breakaways also don’t reset players to the neutral like Breakers, essentially letting faster characters continue their onslaught of pressure. Or sometimes this can flip in the opposite direction as the defender can recover quickly from their Breakaway and punish the aggressor who is still trying to execute their combo. No matter how you slice it, the Breakaway is functional but ultimately less versatile and fair than the good ol’ fashioned Breaker.
Mortal Kombat 11 Wish List | Not as fatal Fatal Blows
Comeback mechanics are tricky. They should feel special and be a decent way to swing momentum but they shouldn’t be a cheap crutch for players to randomly use. Fatal Blows aren’t as bad as they could be since their armor takes a bit to kick in but they still fall into cheap territory.
In order to dial them back, these bone-crunching, gory special moves should be easier to punish. As it stands, most characters can nonchalantly throw out their Fatal Blow without thinking and hope that the armor blows through any oncoming pokes or jabs. Since most of them recover quickly, they’re hard to punish, which is the root cause of Fatal Blows being fairly mindless. Since they give a big reward, they should be a bigger risk and if you miss or get blocked, you better pay dearly for it.
Their damage and combo scaling should also be addressed. Many characters can easily work Fatal Blows into a 45% combo, which goes beyond a comeback mechanic and becomes a ludicrous way to turn one small poke into an infuriating death. Fatal Blows should not only scale more when in these long combos but also do around 25% or so by themselves. Reigning in Fatal Blows would still retain the tension they bring, but without as much of the frustration.
Mortal Kombat 11 Wish List | Unlock all brutalities in Tournament mode
Brutalities are the perfect way to end a match. They showcase your skill in a way that fatalities don’t and get the gore and point across without taking up too much time. Pulling them off is more impressive too since they often has some sort of prerequisite like landing three throws or not blocking for the last round. This is even more applicable in tournaments since it can be a way to quietly flex on your opponent as well as a hype way to finish an exciting match. But Mortal Kombat 11’s attitude towards brutalities means that this is much less likely to happen during tournaments.
Not only do players have to earn these brutalities in the towers and Krypt, but they also take quite some time to unlock. Tournament consoles aren’t likely to have these ready to go so that means that players will be stuck with the throw and uppercut brutalities that almost everyone has. It would be a good move for NetherRealm to unlock every brutality in the Tournament mode so players can still have flashy endings where it matters most. This mode already intelligently randomizes the gear so unlocking every brutality shouldn’t be out of the question.
Mortal Kombat 11 Wish List | Buying cosmetics with Hearts
Mortal Kombat 11 has a plethora of stuff to unlock, which gives the game a long tail. But that can make specific pieces of gear a little harder to come by especially since the in-game store only has a few items per day. To combat this, NetherRealm should make individual cosmetics purchasable using Koins or Hearts.
Koins would be the obvious choice but Hearts have little use after all the Heart chests have been unlocked. Letting players buy stuff with Hearts would give that currency some function in the endgame as well as a method of grabbing exactly what they want even if the price is high. The convenience would be worth it especially for those swimming in Hearts.
Mortal Kombat 11 Wish List | More variations
NetherRealm has already stated that more tournament variations are on the way, but it’s still worth repeating since the two variations that each fighter has are incredibly limiting. There is often one variation with a definitively stronger or smoother set of moves, effectively taking choice out of this, well, choice. Mortal Kombat X didn’t quite have this problem since having three variations made that decision more meaningful as there were usually at least two good picks. Mortal Kombat 11 suffers since one is often the clearly better variation.
Since NetherRealm doesn’t (yet) allow custom variations in competitive play, this also means a lot of the moves will be left on the table. Each fighter has 10 equippable abilities and since the two variations only use five or six total, it means that half of them will ostensibly go untouched. It’s a waste of some genuinely interesting abilities and while one more variation won’t completely solve this, it will give more play to these neglected moves.
Mortal Kombat 11 Wish List | Blood filtering
Mortal Kombat is known for its gore but that isn’t always a good thing, especially for YouTubers. Many have to go in and manually alter the footage so YouTube doesn’t mark it as actual violence. This has a lot to do with the blood being red for most characters and why you see fatality montages done on the teal-blooded D’Vorah. And since YouTube probably isn’t going to change, NetherRealm should give players an option to make the the crimson juice a different color to help out streamers and YouTubers as well as the people that won’t stop complaining about Geras’ red blood.
Mortal Kombat 11 Wish List | Cut the mic
Chatting with random people in an online team game like Overwatch is rarely a good idea, which means talking to a rando in a one-on-one fighting game is never a good idea. There’s no reason to communicate with someone else while you’re fighting against them and it only opens to door for verbal abuse and tons of immature swearing.
NetherRealm would be wise to allow players to automatically mute other players by default as sore losers and disgraceful winners can make it incredibly easy to not want to play online again. And that’s a shame, given how smooth the netcode is.
Mortal Kombat 11 Wish List | Krypt kounters
The Krypt is vast and mysterious, which is a faithful way to emulate the series’ signature secrecy in a modern context. But it does go a bit too far in this direction and can be too obtuse for its own good.
Areas should have counters telling players how many chests they still have left to find so they’ll know where to look. The map doesn’t need to pinpoint exactly where each secret is, but a general area would eliminate much of the mindless wandering.
Severed heads should also have some sort of counter around the appropriate shrines since it’s not initially clear what they do or how to “complete” them. Seeing a meter go up, even if it’s vague, would be a good positive feedback loop. NetherRealm eventually patched Krypt counters into Mortal Kombat X’s Krypt and it would be a good idea to repeat that for Mortal Kombat 11.
Mortal Kombat 11 Wish List | Rousey replacement
Mortal Kombat 11’s ability to gracefully tell its story full of drama, humor, and action is made possible by its talented and well-animated cast. Ronda Rousey destroys that notion faster than she got destroyed by Amanda Nunes in late 2016. Her lifeless delivery goes far beyond being the worst in MK11 by also being one of the most embarrassing performances in a big budget game in quite some time.
NetherRealm doesn’t have to go down the Destiny route of completely replacing her (although that would be awesome) but it could bring in guest voices to smooth over this issue. Carl Weathers voiced his Jax skin in MKX while Injustice 2 had premier skins that transformed some characters into their similar DC counterparts (like turning Captain Cold into Mr. Freeze).
MK11 should do something similar with Sonya especially if the rumored Terminator DLC is indeed coming. A Sarah Connor premier skin would give Sonya a much-needed new voice and be a thoughtful way to pay homage to the films.