MultiVersus, Warner Bros.’ surprisingly great take on Super Smash Bros that released in open beta today, is already dropping the nerf hammer (opens in new tab) on its most hated character. After a week of domination, Taz the Tasmanian Devil is receiving a significant downgrade aimed at making him less frustrating to play against.
To the many who bought into MultiVersus weeklong early access preceding open beta, Taz’s dreaded side-special tornado move (the one he does in all the Looney Tune shorts) has been the stuff of nightmares (opens in new tab): every few seconds, Taz can become a hard-hitting, all-encompassing, mobile hurtbox who deals a ton of knockback. The move had significant priority over opponent counters. Miss your dodge, and you were almost guaranteed to get comboed for three or four hits. In a patch released this morning, developer Player First Games dialed back his signature move.
- A decrease in the tornado’s duration and the additional duration gained by passing an ally.
- Removing one of the multi-hits of the tornado.
- Decreasing the hit pause of all the hits in the tornado.
- Reduced knockback from the final hit in the tornado from 1375 to 1275
“If you have been following early access, Taz’s Tornado has been dominating his character kit and presenting a non-obvious knowledge check for newer players. By reducing its effectiveness we hope to improve his gameplay health and loop and bring the game to a healthier state for newer players.”
In the long term, Player First plans to transition Taz’s tornado to a cooldown move, but it wants to be careful about deemphasizing Taz’s most recognizable attack. “The tornado is Taz’s signature move so we want to keep it as one of his most powerful attacks.”
I haven’t had a chance to try the Taz changes for myself yet thanks to the server outages (opens in new tab) affecting MultiVersus the morning of its open beta launch, but the game’s burgeoning Reddit community has been quick to react to Player First’s launch day cocktail of anti-tornado balance changes.
leak_gameplay_footage_of_tazs_new_spin from r/MultiVersusTheGame
The latest patch also addresses a few bugs that were letting some characters get away with particularly nasty combos. Iron Giant’s air-down attack can “no longer combo into itself” and created a near-infinite string of jet boot curbstomps. Darn, I was having fun with that one. Batman now has increased cooldown on his batarang because he could throw it so often that there were “very small windows where the Batarang wasn’t in play.” Mr. Wayne will miss the ‘rang, for sure—the ability has good reach and can be guided manually in-flight.
A good first round of balancing I reckon. It’s promising that Player First is showing some restraint with Taz as it reacts to immediate feedback. It’s easy to overcorrect in the face of a frustrated community all yelling and memeing about the same thing, but maybe these knockback and multi-hit reductions will be all he needs to stop dominating my 2v2 matchups.