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March Splatoon Splatfest 2016 & New Ranking Systems & Abilities Update

snowman vs sandcastle splatoon splatfest

It’s that time again! March’s North American Splatoon Splatfest is upon us! This time it’s team Snowman vs Sandcastle! (which would you rather build). As you can imagine, the “Frozen” memes are all over Miiverse! I’m on Team Snowman, but chose to go with a simplistic Calvin & Hobbes route:

miiverse splatfest snowman mistress j

(Don’t judge me harshly, still not fantastical at Miiverse drawing. lol)

Splatfest starts Friday night March 18th at 11pm CST and goes til Saturday night March 19th, 11pm CST. I’m sure during the event I’ll do some sort of Cannibal the Musical “Let’s Build A Snowman” drawing of sorts, as it has been stuck in my head since. Not gonna lie though, “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” from Frozen has been rotating in there as well.

In the latest update, several adjustments were made to gear abilities, match pairings & rankings, & Splatfest specs. Let’s start with the Splatfest changes:

While Splatfest is in effect, your “Vibe Meter” will now display “Splatfest Power”. Your initial power ranking depends on your current “Ranked Battle” rank. Your power level will then change depending on your Splatfest wins/loses. When your team wins, the player with the highest Splatfest Power will receive a slightly larger boost to their Splatfest Power than their teammates.

K, now I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not. It seems that if you get a late start, or get unlucky consecutive matches with people fartin’ around (which the last 2 Splatfests I have had HORRIBLE pairings, where otherwise I dominated) seems like you’d kinda be screwed with this set up? Previously, the matchings tended to group players with similar play styles – which perhaps I was just lucky in past Splatfests, and then I just got caught with “roller people” who don’t know what they’re doing. So in that essence, I guess the new set up is good, cause if you’re on a team with all rollers or “terrain cover” style, you don’t stand a whole lot of chance against a team armed with guns – typically.

FYI, if you’re rocking a sniper rifle, your main objective is not to run around painting every inch of territory, pick a different weapon if that’s what you want to do. I know I know, I sound like an impatient “Call of Doodie-head” (which I used to play back in the day anyway). But hey, I try not to judge lowbies cause they’re obviously new to the game. Hell, my own level’s not even maxed cause I played the shit outta the game before they finally raised the max level and have moved on to other things since – but I’ve seen plenty of bullshit from levels that should know better! *insert GRR sounds* I will say though, I’m glad there’s not vocal chatter in Splatoon, cause everyone would just start barking orders at each other, since everyone has their own play style, and you’d get jerkface obscenity spoutings instead of tactical communication. It would be helpful to be able to communicate with people who don’t know wtf they’re doing, but the bile would far outweigh the benefit. But I mean, c’mon, AT LEAST read the basics on game mechanics. Would you start playing a board game without looking at the instructions?!

splatoon judd flag LAME

Anywho- so, players will now be grouped with those of similar Splatfest Power. The higher the team’s collective Splatfest Power average, the more winning points they earn. Maybe I’m not fully grasping, but it just seems that if you happen to get grouped with people who don’t know what they’re doing, the algorithm would brand you as suck along with the team? As always with Splatoon though, the programmers are pretty good with making adjustments to better the playing experience. I’ll just hope things work out with this algorithm style, and that if not, they’ll alter it to fix shortcomings. Personally, since your starting Splatfest Power is based on your Ranked Battle standing, it makes me iffy to go into ranked battle for fear of it dropping right before the event. Ah well!

Speaking of, let’s go over some important changes & improvements to Ranked Battle mode!

ranked battle logo

Team groupings for Ranked Battles have been random, but now there will be some consideration to equipped weapons as well as existing rank when teams are put together. Certain rank levels will not be paired together, in an attempt to better mix things up amongst levels. The following ranks will NOT be paired up together:

  • S+ & S
  • A+ & S
  • A- & B+
  • B- & C+

Now for a long awaited fix to a vexing issue which guaranteed an episode of gamer rage in every instance. TEAMMATE DISCONNECTIONS. It’s almost a guarantee that if one of your teammates loses their connection, your team is going to lose due to the handicap. This is frustrating enough in a regular battle, but when you lose your ranked status on a technicality, it sucks pretty hard. I’ve seen many a Miiverse rant, and have felt the sting myself.

aliens just great.gif

Well now when a handicapped team loses, points earned by the winning team will be decreased by an amount that’s proportional to the time they benefited from the disconnection.

Probably not a perfect fix, but it’s better than before. It’s certainly not the solution most are calling out for – but I totally get why they can’t just have people come in during the middle of matches, since the battles are only a couple minutes long & you also can get points based on your performance in instances. It’d suck if you got stuck in the last bit of a match and barely got to play & your rank still goes down, or you get next to nothing for “ground covered”. If you’re one of those people calling for such a solution, how pissed would you be if you happened to always get stuck at the end of battles cause of falling into “disconnected filler position”…

The latest update also contained some gear ability changes. Pretty self explanatory, so I’ve compiled a chart for ya:

new ability updates chart

Hmmm, looks like I need to work on unlocking some of my Bomb Sniffer kicks’ abilities… and I think I’ll try out Last-Ditch Effort when in Rank Battles.

So, my Splatoony minions, I’m curious to how you feel about these changes. As I said, I’m a little uneasy, but I have faith that if things get messed up by these new changes they’ll be remedied in a future patch. I like when they tweak gear abilities, cause it keeps things fresh & I tend to try out new gear combinations. I would like to take a moment again & say that people really need to stop a boo hooing about certain weapons/abilities being OP. There are abilities on gear that will counter act others (for instance use gear/weapons with locators to counteract “Ninja Squid camping”) It’s just a matter that complainers don’t want to use those items. I get it, there’s gear I won’t wear cause I don’t like how it looks… or I prefer certain weapons over others… but I don’t go around complaining about abilities that “get me”. If you’re getting killed too easily, up your defense gear. There’s ample opportunity to earn Super Sea Snails to re-roll your sub abilities. Splatoon is a very mix ‘n match ability game, while at the same time competing with how you want your character to look. I don’t mean to go on a preachy rant essay here, but I’m just so sick of seeing people complain and call out “OP” or “(blank) is for noobs”. Well, getting repeatedly splatted by the same tactic in the same area is “for noobs”, and maybe you should try to evolve your playing style. Or, I dunno, open up your other ability slots, cause I checked out your gear & you’re rockin’ garbage… Sorry sorry sorry, I tend to get competitively grouchy this time of the month… Splatfest & all. ;P

*Sigh* but here I am yappin’ when I should be out splattin’! The other two gear abilities on my Splatfest shirt aren’t gonna unlock themselves! So, I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of The V Spot. But yea, please let me know what you think of these changes – and if you disagree or want to discuss anything, by all means, lemme know in the comments below. Also, I’m curious to what other people’s “go-to” for gear ability/weapon combos are…

May your ink flow freely, & your aim be true! See you on the Splatterfield!

About The Author
Mistress J (Jillian Zurawski)
Mistress J (Jillian Zurawski)
Resident Mistress of shenanigans & purveyor of nonsensicals. Mistress J (Jillian Zurawski) is a huge "Nintendork", Zelda maniac, anime freak, actor, & artist. She's the proprietor of the game streaming show Come Play With Me and The V Spot; covering video game news & announcements... and whatever - as well as "Mistress J's amiibo Watch" regarding amiibo releases, restocks, & deals announced via her facebook & twitter accounts. If you would like to support Mistress J's creative endeavors & general existence, you may do so here -Thank you for visiting, and please come again!

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