If you have not read the first part to this article, you really should. It is a combination of sliders, attributes and match settings that will give you the best result and allow you to create the kind of match you want to make. While I offer my own settings as a guide, I suggest that you use what is written in this article to find something that works best for you.
It is impossible to drastically change the gameplay without setting attributes for superstars. There is nothing that will change the feel of a match more than the right ratings for each and every superstar. Some ratings are more important than others, but all of them matter.
The main thing you have to do is forget about overall ratings. They don’t matter. Don’t be surprised if Rey Mysterio ends up with a higher overall than Big Show. Mysterio will have a lot higher speed, agility, jump and adrenaline ratings which will boost his overall. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t mean he is better at actually wrestling in the game. Ratings like tag team even raise the overall. So, someone like the Prime Time Players might be ranked higher than you might think they should be. Right now, you need to look into a mirror and tell yourself, “Overall rating doesn’t matter, but I do because I am good enough, smart enough and doggone it people like me”.
Setting attributes for every single superstar and created superstar seems like a daunting task. In some ways it is, but it isn’t as bad as it seems. You can set attributes really fast in universe mode by using the edit superstars option. What I suggest it that you pick four superstars to test settings with at first. The first superstar should be your favorite superstar. You will know how you want a match with him to play. You are familiar with the moveset. It is just a good place to start. The next should be a main event guy. It should be whoever you feel is one of the top stars in the company. Then select a mid-card superstar. This should be someone that you consider to be a contender to the minor title, but not the major title. The last superstar should be a lower-card or jobber. Play with your favorite star against each of the other three, so that you can make adjustments to just those four superstars until you get an idea how to rate the rest of the roster.
Grapple Power: This attribute is one of the most important in the game. It controls the amount of damage done from any grapple moves. That means even strike moves done through the grapple button (like Daniel Bryan’s Yes Kicks) are controlled by this attribute. As such, it is one of the most important attributes in determining match length. For the style of longer, back and forth matches that I enjoy (ones you might see by guys like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose or in companies like New Japan Pro Wrestling or Ring of Honor), I set this attribute rather low compared to the out of the box attributes. This allows longer and more competitive matches.
I also tend to look at Grapple Power in a broader light than most. Grapple Power is the amount of damage dealt by grapple moves. Now, certainly brute strength factors into the equation. Guys like Mark Henry and Big Show would certainly be ranked toward the higher end of the scale, but technical ability also carries a lot of weight as well. While a suplex from The World’s Strongest Man would definitely not be pleasant, neither would a snap suplex from a technical wrestler like Daniel Bryan. While he may not deliver a suplex with the same power, he uses his technical knowledge to deliver a suplex with maximum leverage, momentum and damage. So, in my game, a guy like Bryan will have a high Grapple Power rating just like Mark Henry would, just for different reasons.
The other thing with Grapple Power and Strike Power (along with recovery) is that we can use it to improve the flow of the match. One of the problems with match flow in the WWE video game series is the ratio of chain grapples to strong grapples. We have three times as many chain grapples as we do strong grapples. The problem with this is that out of the box you will see more strong grapples than chain grapples. That means you are spending more time choosing between the fewer amount of strong grapples. There is no way to completely fix this, but you can improve the ratio. Doing this will cause the match build slower. You will see more chain grapples which means a greater variety of moves within a match. With that being said, here is the way I rate superstars.
Tier One: These are superstars who are either main eventers at the top of the rankings like John Cena and Randy Orton or superstars who are especially proficient in the stat (in this case with Mark Henry being considered “The World’s Strongest Man” he would be a tier one star).
Tier Two: These are mid-card wrestlers who would be in contention for minor titles or jobbers who are especially proficient in that particular attribute. This would be guys like Dolph Ziggler, Big E, Dean Ambrose or Damien Sandow.
Tier Three: This would be enhancement talent or “jobbers”. This would include guys like Heath Slater.
So let us get back to rating Grapple Power.
Tier One: These supertars are rated on a range of 50-60 with most being on the higher end of the scale. CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Brock Lesnar, Mark Henry, Big Show, Ryback, Cesaro, John Cena, Randy Orton, and Undertaker are all rated tier one in my game.
Tier Two: These superstars are ranked from 40-50. Guys like Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, Christian, and Cody Rhodes are all tier two in my game. The lower end of the scale would be guys like Fandango, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, etc.
Tier Three: These superstars are rated 20-40 depending on their level. I have guys like Damien Sandow and Santino ranked at 40 while guys like Heath Slater and Daren Young are ranked closer to the 20 or 30 range.
Strike Power: is a lot like grapple power in that it determines the amount of damage done by strike attacks. However, because strikes deal less base damage, I have increased the scale slightly.
Tier One: Strikers like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Undertaker range from 55-65.
Tier Two: These Superstars range from 40-55
Tier Three: These superstars range from 25-40
Submission: this attribute deals mostly with non-finisher breaking point submissions. Guys like Daniel Bryan will lock on several submissions in a match in addition to their finisher. Finisher submissions get a boost regardless of this rating. I use the full range of this attribute because I want those non-finisher submissions to deal plenty of damage.
Tier One: Superstars like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Undertaker are rated from 85-95
Tier Two: are ranked 75-85
Tier Three: are ranked 50-75
Strike Defense: The defense attributes determine how easy it is to reverse a strike or grapple. Again, my goal is to limit the number of reversals and have more periods of uninterrupted offense. I have turned down these two attributes considerably so that there are fewer reversals per match, but when a reversal happens it is a much bigger deal in the flow of the match.
Tier One: are ranked 60-70
Tier Two: are ranked 50-60
Tier Three: are ranked 40-50
Grapple Defense: This attribute is rated the same as Strike Defense
Speed: I like to slow down the pace of the match a bit. Most normal superstars I have ranked from 60-70. For guys who are exceptionally fast like a luchador you could go higher. For super heavy weights you can go lower.
Jump: I left this set at about the default out of the box setting. I found that setting this too high can cause some moves to be missed.
Agility: I pretty much stuck with the out of the box rating for this too. The only caveat being if you want the guy to hop up to the turnbuckle rather than climb the rope, this rating must be 90 or above.
Adrenaline: I believe the adrenaline mechanic in the game is good, but also causes the A.I. to be passive at times. Because of this, I rate this pretty high. With that being said, if you want to make it so someone like The Great Khali doesn't run at all, set this from 0-20.
Tier One: 85-100
Tier Two: 75-90
Tier Three: 50-80
Recovery: This stat has minimal affect in the game as far as I can tell. However, with what affect it does have, we will use it to improve the ratio of chain grapples to strong grapples. I have maxed this stat out for every single superstar in the game.
Toughness: This attribute has changed a lot since last year. In fact, it is a game changer. This year toughness is exactly what it sounds like it should be… it is another defensive stat. I did a test with Andre the Giant (grapple power of 100) and Heath Slater. I turned Slater’s durability all the way down to 0.
When Slater’s toughness was also at 0 it took 3 Andre chain grapple body slams to turn his body to yellow damage, 5 to get to orange and 8 body slams to get to red. Now, here is the amazing thing . . . when I turned the toughness all the way up to 95 it took 4 body slams to get to yellow, 8 slams to get to orange (the same as it took to get to red before) and 13 to get to red. IT TOOK 5 MORE MOVES TO GET TO RED! While that may not sound like much, it is. It can double your match length when you consider both players will take a lot more moves to get into the red.
Tier One: 85-95
Tier Two: 70-85
Tier Three: 55-75
Durability: Durability is a weird attribute. It controls the amount of hit points given to that particular superstar. I don’t really care for the way the implemented this stat for two reasons. First, there is absolutely no difference from 0-69. That means just under 70% of the rating is useless. The second thing I hate is that it is tied to weight class. Guys like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk get the short end of the stick. Despite the fact they have wrestled some of the longest and most brutal matches as of late, their Durability is capped 85. That means they will never have more than 600 hit points where as someone like Big Show can have up to 700. For the record, the way it works is like this
0-69 = 500 hit points
70-79 = 550 hit points
80-89 = 600 hit points
90-98 = 650 hit points
99-100 = 700 hit points
Because a lot of main event superstars are capped at a rating of 85, I use this as my max rating.
Tier One: I use a scale of 80-85 for main eventers.
Tier Two: I use a scale of 75-80 for mid-carders.
Tier Three: I use a scale of 70-75 for jobbers.
Charisma: Charisma is another attribute that can be used to determine match length. It helps to determine how fast a superstar gets a signature move.
Tier One: 60-70
Tier Two: 50-60
Tier Three: 40-50
Tag Team: I would like to do some more extensive testing to see if the actually affects anything other than the damage done by double teams. I don’t really use tiers for this one. I just determine if that superstar is known as a tag wrestler or not. Those that are, I rate higher.
Abilities: There are a few abilities I like to assign to a majority of superstars because it helps the A.I. be more competitive. If you play with a superstar, you have the ability to not take advantage of using the abilities to take advantage of the CPU. I give every tier one and most tier two superstars these abilities.
Comeback: When you assign this ability to a superstar and don't give them a comeback move, they will get an instant signature move. (The game says you must assign a comeback move, but you don't have to). This helps the A.I. turn the tide of the match if you brutalize them. To me, it is an important part of helping the AI.
Resiliency: This will help the A.I. stay alive longer.
Ring Out: Although the A.I. very rarely uses this ability, the theory behind giving them this is that it helps prolong the match.
Roll Up: These are flash pins and again, the A.I. can use it to win a match when you are destroying them.
Match Settings: The most important match setting is the momentum rate. I use slow for one on one matches, fast for tag matches and normal for multi-man matches. The other thing I recommend is turning a time limit on so that you can occasionally have a time limit draw and turn on ring out count to 10 so that winning or losing by count out is possible.
No pinning unless it is after a finisher (unless you are doing it as part of the story of the match and you know the A.I. will kick out or you plan to let them kick out) until the final minute of a match or your own loss is eminent.
Do not use abilities like resiliency, comeback or ring escape unless absolutely necessary to remain in the match. We give these abilities for the A.I. to use to give us more of a fight.
A Final Note:
Try these settings out on 4 superstars. Play more than one match, because I have had matches where I dominated the CPU and then I just hit rematch and the CPU gave me the fight of my life. You cannot judge on just one match. If you don’t like them, you only have to change four superstars’ ratings back. I think you will find that these attributes, sliders and match settings will change the way the entire game plays. I think it feels more like the old AKI games or some of the older import puroresu games. Let me know in the comments below if you try this and what your experience is. You can also contact me on twitter @cavemangamer.