By far, the most requested article I get every year is my WWE video game slider article. I didn’t do one last year because no matter what you did with sliders and ratings, you weren’t going to bypass the issue of not having very many two counts. That glitch was a game killer for me and I didn’t feel like putting time or effort into a game I didn't enjoy to write the kind of detailed article you have come to expect from me. However, the WWE video game series is back (Now with 2 counts included!) and I am back this year with my take on sliders, ratings and settings for WWE 2k14.
The first thing to know is that if you are looking for a specific type of game play, you won’t achieve it by merely adjusting the gameplay sliders. You have to adjust individual superstar ratings, gameplay sliders and match settings to get the most out of the game. That is why I am breaking this article up into two parts. The first part will be gameplay settings. The other part will be attributes and match settings.
The other thing you need to know is that my ratings and sliders may not work for you. I am looking for a very specific type of match that can best be described as a New Japan Pro Wrestling or Ring of Honor style match. For this style of match we want the AI to be competitive but fair. We want a fairly long, back and forth match with a lot of near falls and where the AI can pull out a win at any moment. The recent matches of Cesaro vs. Cena and Cesaro vs. Orton are good examples of the type of match I am trying to achieve. They made us believe that either man could win that match at any time or that it could go to a time limit draw. It was unpredictable and it was back and forth. Either man was capable of winning.
Also, I consider myself to be a good player but not a great player. I am not ultra competitive when it comes to video games. I play to have fun and to try to simulate real world situations. You would call me a sim style player. I don’t need to win every match. In fact, I prefer that the A.I. be able to give me a run for my money. If you are a highly competitive player who is able to reverse everything and destroy your opponents in under 2 minutes, my sliders might not work for you. You may be looking for something completely different and that is why I go into great detail about each and every slider, rating and option. I hope to give you the information you need to make the perfect set of sliders for you. It takes time to set all of the games options, sliders and ratings for every superstar (and up to 100 created superstars). The good news is, once you get it set, you will probably not have to change it.
The easiest place to begin is with the game options. You can find these settings under options, gameplay, match options and then in game options.
Difficulty Level: I prefer legend because I feel like the AI is more aggressive on legend. The inherent problem with the legend difficulty level is that the AI reverses almost everything. I will talk a lot more about reversals later on. We will make some adjustments to the AI that will keep the aggressiveness of legend, but have fewer reversals in a match. You can start out on legend and if you don’t like it, drop it down until you find a level you like.
Reversal Damage: I like this on because the way the reversals have been changed in WWE 2k14 is that you reverse directly into a move rather than into a grapple hold. It doesn’t make sense to me for those wrestling moves not to have any damage.
Adrenaline: I like this on, just to limit constant running, but we are also going to adjust the adrenaline so that it matters a lot less. I will explain why later.
Blood: I also keep this on, but it has no bearing on gameplay, so do whatever you want with this setting.
Entrance: Again, this is just personal preference. I leave it on because you can choose to turn it off before each individual match.
Weight Detection: I leave this on, though this doesn't really affect gameplay either so feel free to do whatever you prefer.
Next we will go into balancing and then into the A.I. reversal options. As much as I detest the fact that reversals play an important part in the difficulty of the A.I., that is how the game is programmed. Increasing difficulty levels alone in the game basically ramps up the rate which the A.I. reverses. This means that rather than program the A.I. to be smarter, the developers at Yukes decided to just make the A.I. reverse more of your moves, which in turn allows them to do more damage to you and appear to be harder to beat. I absolutely hate this line of thinking, but it has been this way from the very beginning of the series. In an ideal situation, as you turn up the difficulty level it would cause the A.I. to be smarter, more aggressive and more challenging. While I do think the aggressiveness is slightly ramped up, it is not nearly as much as it should be. It is what it is. As much as I have tried to use sliders to make the A.I. play smarter, the truth is the difficulty of the A.I. is dependent on how difficult it is for you to reverse the A.I.’s moves and how many times per match they can reverse your moves. Now, with that said, I haven’t surrendered to the programming. I refuse to spend hours playing against A.I. that reverses most of my moves just to get a challenge. So, what we have to do is if we lower the amount of times the A.I. reverses us, we have to also lower the amount of times we can reverse the A.I. There will be a direct relation between the ratio of human reversals to A.I. reversals and the difficulty of the game. If you understand there is no way around this, then you can use it to your advantage. If you find the game too easy, you need to adjust this ratio. You will either need to decrease your ability to reverse moves or increase the A.I.’s ability to reverse your moves. The settings I am going to give you are where I find a good balance of reversals on legend difficulty. If you find it too easy, make it harder for you to reverse and easier for the A.I. to reverse. It is that simple because this game lacks advanced logic windows to program the A.I. like some games such as Fire Pro Wrestling and even the old AKI games. So let’s get to it then. Here are the settings for A.I. reversal rate:
Standing Strike Reversal Rate: Because the A.I. reversal rate is increased already because of legend difficulty level, I have this set at 4. That means move the bar all the way to the left until there is no red line showing, then move it 4 clicks to the right.
Standing Grapple Reversal Rate: I also have this at 4. The A.I. still reverses my moves, but the match is not a reversal fest. Setting them at this setting allows back and forth periods of uninterrupted offense and when reversals do happen, it allows the CPU to have periods of uninterrupted offense against you because it will also be more difficult for you to reverse. So, while reversals happen less, it is a much bigger deal when they do happen.
Ground Strike Reversal Rate: I have this set at 12. The reason I have this set high is because the A.I. doesn’t reverse ground strikes as much as standing moves.
Ground Grapple Reversal Rate: I have this set at 14 for the same reasons as ground strike reversal. I believe there is an automatic reversal that occurs after you have done a number of ground moves anyway, so these settings don’t matter as much.
Finisher Reversal Rate: I have this set at 12 too. The reason for that is that for the type of match I want to have, if you go for your finisher too early then the opponent is likely going to make you pay for it. You have to use your finisher wisely and at the right time. However, if I am in a match against a lesser opponent, I don’t want him always reversing my finisher. This also gives the A.I. a chance to steal a finisher which gives them a chance to beat you even if they are getting dominated. You will find that I have a few other tricks up my sleeve when it comes to abilities to also give the A.I. a fighting chance to pull a victory out of no where.
Foreign Object Reversal Rate: I have this set at 13 and I still manage to get plenty of chair shots in on the A.I., but this keeps us from abusing them with weapons.
Next we will go to the Damage Options.
Finisher Strength: I have this at default half way. I feel like this makes finishers strong (I believe on this setting finishers are 3 times stronger than other moves), but there is still the possibility that the A.I. or myself can kick out of a finisher delivered early on in a match.
Foreign Object Strength: I have this cranked up to 15 in order to simulate the WWE’s new concern about concussions. Weapons are rarely used in the WWE now, so when they are they should pack a wallop.
Next we will go into the General Options. This is where you will adjust how hard it is for you to reverse the A.I. Remember that we decreased the A.I. reversal rates. If we left things how they are, we would destroy the A.I. because we would reverse much more than they would. We have to now counter balance that by making it harder for us to reverse.
Standing Strike Reversal Rate: I have this set at 2. I am good at reversing, but not someone that reverses every single move. At 2, I can still reverse once in a while, but only about the same amount of times that the A.I. reverses. It actually may be a little less. This makes the matches more even against equally ranked CPU opponents. There will be times where I simply cannot reverse the A.I. when I want to and this causes me to sustain a beat down. When I do reverse, it feels way more satisfying. If you watch a WWE match, there is some reversing going on, but it is not nearly as much as what a default match on legend difficulty in this game. They reverse on average about 3-6 times in a match against two main event superstars. Keep that in mind when playing. You want reversals to be under 10 a match if possible. The less you can reverse the more chance the CPU has of dealing an equal amount of damage to you.
Standing Grapple Reversal Rate: I have this at 1 and as stated above, the combination of times the CPU and I reverse in a match is somewhere around 10 on average. I am still able to reverse, but not so much that I can take advantage of the inferior CPU logic.
Ground Strike Reversal Rate: I have this set at 0. My reasoning for this is that if the A.I. has you on the ground and it is standing, it is in the dominant position. In a real life situation, you are going to get your hat handed to you more times than not in that position. This isn’t the UFC and there is no guard or half guard in wrestling.
Ground Grapple Reversal Rate: This is also set at 0 for the same reason. If the CPU gets you down, it has a chance to deal some major damage.
Finisher Reversal Rate: I have this set at 10. The A.I. tends to reverse a lot of my finishers. At this setting I have a decent chance at reversing the finisher they stole by reversing me. It makes for some amazing finishes with not knowing who is going to end up with the finisher and be able to actually nail it.
Foreign Object Reversal Rate: I have this set at 0 because the A.I. doesn’t use weapons much and when they do, it should be a clear advantage to them.
One final note on reversal rates: After a while, you will get used to the timing. You can change up the timing by changing the reversal settings. I may change them a click or two in either direction just to change the reversal window timing and then I may change them back to my ideal setting after a couple weeks. This just helps to prevent muscle memory making reversals automatic for you. My goal was to get a near 1 to 1 or 1 to 2 ratio of human reversals to CPU reversals in any given match. If you find you are reversing the CPU more than it reverses you, begin to decrease the human reversal rate by one click. If you get to 0 and you are still reversing the CPU more than it reverses you, start increasing their reversal rate by one click at a time until you reach a good ratio.
Momentum Gained From Attacks: I have this set at 6. Momentum is one of the main ways to control the length of matches. If you want longer matches that this gives you, turn this setting down. If you want shorter matches, turn it up. My matches average 7-9 minutes with this setting.
Momentum Gained From Taunts: I spent a lot of time watching the CPU in matches against a human opponent. The A.I. almost never does a taunt in the middle of a match. They will occasionally do a wakeup taunt, but by that point, it already has enough momentum to get a finisher. I have this set at 3 because anything higher gives you an unfair advantage over the CPU because you can use it to build up a signature move, but the CPU rarely does the same thing. You might even consider putting it at 0 if you never see the CPU use taunts.
Adrenaline Consumption Rate: I have this set at 1. In studying the A.I., I found that the CPU would sometimes just stand there and not do anything when I was groggy or on the ground. I couldn’t figure out why it would just stand there. After some testing, I believe it is tied in to trying to conserve or regain adrenaline. As much as I like the feature, I would rather have more aggressive A.I. To lessen the amount of time the CPU does absolutely nothing, we have to sacrifice a lot of the affects of adrenaline.
These settings will give you a good base to adjust the gameplay settings to your liking. Click the subscribe button so that you know when Part 2 of this article is released which will help you set up attributes for individual superstars and match settings. To get the best gameplay, you have to do all three. One without the other will only marginally improve the A.I. If you try these out, let me know what you think either in the comments below or on twitter @cavemangamer. Thank you for taking time to read this article and have fun with the game.