Back when I started this blog, a wrote a post about what Splatoon could learn from its everything-but-Nintendo counterpart Overwatch, covering everything from team building to player customization. Now that Splatoon 2 has officially been announced, I think it’s time to revisit this topic and come up with a full list of the features I’d like added to the new game. Without further ado, let’s get to the list!
- Turf War Lobby Updates. You know, the basic stuff: Let players change weapons inside a lobby, allow players to designate teams in casual matches, that kind of stuff.
- Players of the Game. You don’t want to slow down the postgame stat reports too much, but I think anointing a ‘Player of the Match’ and displaying their stats and giving them a small XP/money bonus would be a pretty cool idea.
- Stage Voting/Selection. Right now, a lot of players feel like how much they enjoy playing on a map is inversely proportional to how often it appears in the rotation. For me, it means that it seems like I’m always stuck on Hammerhead Bridge, and Moray Towers only comes out of mothballs about once a week. I’d prefer to see a Mario Kart 8-style voting scheme put in place, where players could select from an assortment of 2-3 pre-selected maps (or roll the dice with ‘Random.’), and the game would choose the map based on those votes (whether by majority rule, random single selection as MK8 does currently, or something else).
- New Battle Modes. Splat Zones, Tower Control, Rainmaker, and even Turf Wars were interesting twists on classic FPS/TPS battle modes. I don’t have any specific recommendations here; I’m just in the mood for another fresh take or two on the battle scene, and consider this idea a vote of confidence for the Splatoon developers to use their imagination to create something fresh.
- Skirmish Mode. Squid parties are a big thing in Splatoon, and nothing is more annoying than ending up in an ambiguous game where half the players are partying and half are playing seriously. Splatoon 2 should include a special mode similar to Overwatch’s Skirmishes, where there is no real objective and players are free to do whatever they want. Add some fun emote animations, increase the special charge rate, and (maybe) disable splatting, and you’ve got the perfect place for party squids to live without fear of persecution, while serious players can get on with their serious matches. It’s not a perfect solution, but I think just letting players know what they’re getting into ahead of time will help alleviate their saltiness.
- Permanent Splatfest Gear. Overwatch’s answer to Splatfests were holiday-themed events that involved special game modes (Junkenstein’s Revenge, Mei’s Snowball Offensive, etc.) and new character skins. Unlike Splatfests, however, these skins could be used even after the event had ended (which makes sense, given that anyone that had paid real money for the skins wouldn’t have wanted them taken away). I think Splatoon 2 should follow the same method for its Splatfests (because Splatfests are definitely coming back), and let players keep their cool team shirts.
- Playable Octolings. Picture this: An expansive single-player campaign, concluding in an epic truce between the Inklings and Octolings and allows the player to use Octolings in online matches. How is this not a good thing? If desired, Nintendo could even give Inklings and Octolings different strengths and weaknesses—for example, Octolings could deal more damage than Inklings with their weapons, but could not move or swim as fast. Regardless of how they’re implemented, the Splatoon community has demanded their implementation since the original game launched, so why not give the people what they want?
Of course, with any sequel comes the possibility of regression, and Nintendo’s made a few surprising decisions that might annoy players (for example, throwing out all of the existing special attacks). Hopefully Nintendo sticks to using a surgical knife rather than a machete when it comes to feature removal, and focuses on adding rather than subtracting in Splatoon 2.
There’s one final demand I have for Splatoon 2: A launch date that’s sooner rather than later. (“Summer 2017” better mean “early June” and not “late September.”) After all, the biggest demand from Splatoon fans is simply “MOAR SPLATOON NOW!”