Recently, Diek Stiekem ran a UMvC3 character DLC poll. It has concluded, and the results can be seen in the first post here: OFFICIAL SRK UMvC3 DLC Request Petition (SRK MEMBERS ONLY!)
The results struck me as very interesting, and I’m hoping to prompt civil discussion on them. Some of them reflect trends seen in other polls, others are unique to SRK, and I think there’s plenty to learn from it. To comment on some broad trends and specific characters…
Psylocke: As other studies have noted, Psylocke only enjoys popular support on SRK. She either ranks very low or fails to place top 20/top 30 in most other polls. Here however she was the winner by an overwhelming margin. Does this speak to a broad faith in her movelist being one that fans feel would be interesting in UMvC3? Is it indicative of a desire for strong anti-air assists in this game? Is it just a nod to the breast-heaving idle-stance .gif that has been posted? Who can say? Well, the Psylocke voters can. I would genuinely love to hear from you as to why you supported Psylocke, as you stand in contrast to almost every other poll that has been done.
Edit: It seems my initial remarks regarding Psylocke vote placement/totals may have been using outdated sources. I partially retract that remark, though my curiosity remains on the basis that Psylocke placed notably higher in SRK’s poll than in many others (where she still apparently tended to place fairly well, just not nearly as well as in this one).
Gambit: Seems to enjoy modest to high support in most polls. He’s recognizable, he has an intuitive playstyle, and a lot of us likely have fond memories of him from the 90s X-Men cartoon. It will be interesting to see if Marvel takes heed.
Ms. Marvel: Most people I have spoken with suggest she will be “old-style Rogue minus the power absorption gimmick.” Given how MvC2 phoned that mechanic in by just giving Rogue generic stat boost effects depending on who she kissed, I’m actually alright with this. Rogue’s general playstyle has always been a favorite of mine, and I hope Ms. Marvel can honor that tradition and become an interesting UMvC3 character. It is nonetheless fascinating that so many of us voted for what is, on paper, ‘Rogue Minus.’ Additionally, it is interesting that Rogue, as direct competition to her, placed 10th with a meaningful number of votes. Clearly, a lot of people want this general play-style in the game!
Venom, Eddie Brock Form: Also placed consistently high in most polls (didn’t he take 1st place in Pixiv’s poll, with a few thousand votes?), and is perhaps the most baffling result in all these polls. It has been made generally clear that characters who no longer exist in current Marvel product lines generally won’t be showing up, as Marvel is using the game as primarily a promotional vehicle for their comics and films (and small wonder! That’s what they should be doing, using this as a chance for brand growth and bringing in new customers). Despite the support, I suspect these are all wasted votes. At best we might get Anti-Venom, which those more up to date on comics than I tell me is “what Brock fans actually mean/want”?
Cyclops: A strong, well-rounded choice. Personally, I would not mind seeing them ‘de-Shoto’ him and come up with some new moves. He would be a fun addition to the game in any case.
Cable: I suspect this is also a series of wasted votes. Isn’t Cable dead (and apparently meant to remain so for the foreseeable future, or so I’m told by others)? If these were MvC2 nostalgia votes… it may have been best to let it go. We were probably not going to get 3x AHVB all over again, and that’s on top of Marvel having no compelling business interest to allow him onto the roster at this time. Edit: kr3wman has raised some points that suggest that Cable may actually be a valid character to vote for after all.
The rest of the Marvel cast are also interesting results, but I cannot think of any meaningful commentary on them. Moving on!
Mega Man X: Remains the overwhelming favorite in almost every poll. I think the only one he hasn’t placed 1st in was the Pixiv poll, and that was due to a strong Sengoku interest over in Japan; he still placed in a very strong 3rd in that one, I believe. The question now becomes… does Capcom wish to print money? Or is there a deeper reason behind why they won’t give people the character they so clearly desire? While I have no personal interest in X, it is absolutely obvious that many, many people do and will gladly pay for him as DLC. To me, it’s a 50-50 coin toss as to whether Capcom will wisely accommodate these wishes or will continue to act in their bizarre ‘stubborn corporation’ manner; purely as speculation, could one see this as a sign that Inafune’s departure has soured senior management on making any significant new investments in the franchise? Time will tell, and I hope such speculation is dead wrong.
Edit: Magnet Man has also contributed some interesting points that put my speculative paranoia in doubt. I hope he’s at least partially right.
Gene: It is interesting that he maintained such strong support even after we heard about Iron Fist. I am not familiar with Gene and so am unqualified to comment on him in any real depth, but it will be interesting to see if this support persists once people have time to try Iron Fist out. Are they as similar as others have speculated? Does Gene offer meaningful differences? I would love to hear more from Gene supporters on this!
Sigma: Enjoyed unexpectedly popular support, spearheaded by poll organizer Diek Stiekem. This is actually really neat; anyone who has played the MMX games can see just how many fascinating options he would have as a fighting game character! The only reason I didn’t vote for him is that personally, I am among those who feel there is a significant chance any Mega Man themed vote is a wasted one, that Capcom may well be doing the ‘stubborn spiteful corporation’ thing I speculated about with X above. With only limited voting slots, I opted to support other things I wanted to see or else spent them on plausible things my friends wanted. That said, it would be awesome if Sigma got in; I hope he does, I hope I’m just being paranoid about Capcom ‘hating Mega Man’ or some such, but I do not hold high hopes for it.
Edit: Per my X edit above, Magnet Man has chimed in with some good points that may make my paranoia incorrect.
Captain Commando: Had three major advantages in his favor; classic/nostalgia character value, popularity amongst MvC2 players for his strong anti-air assist (which I suspect is something many voters really want to see more of in UMvC3), and a generally interesting move-list even if Collider/Corridor were to somehow totally suck.
Jin: Has enjoyed modest support elsewhere, but SRK seems to be his strongest voting bloc. I’m only partially familiar with him, but do not recall him being ‘top tier’ in MvC2… could some Jin supporters chime in with why they voted for him? His popular support here is a mystery to me.
Asura: Of all the vote results, I think this one disappoints me for a bizarre reason. It is my opinion that Capcom should have to invest their own effort in making ‘advertising characters’ for upcoming games, that we shouldn’t explicitly be encouraging them to do so. It’s entirely possible Asura could be a cool fighting game character. I’m not contesting that at all, and I think your interest in him as a playable character is entirely valid. My objection is more of an industry-level one, where I’m going “Sigh Come on guys, make Capcom do their own work, don’t do it for them! Make them make us want what’s advertised, don’t tell them to advertise to us.” Beyond this however, he is an unexpected and interesting result in the poll.
Nina: Conversely, this result makes me very happy. Nina has gone from being “who?” to enjoying modest but consistent support in several recent polls due to her distinct ‘angelic mage’ (yes, she’s really a Wyndian, I know) appearance and variety of spells that could lead to a unique playstyle. She is one of my favorite characters and becoming more familiar with her has reignited my interest in the Breath of Fire franchise, so I hope she will gain even stronger support in any future polls. For example, I strongly suspect Capcom-Unity will run a ‘run-off poll’ soon, and if Nina is featured in it then I truly hope she will see additional support there.
Ryu from Breath of Fire: Also a cool result. I would like to see him in the game, and I think there’s enough you can do with ‘90s-style RPG swordsman hero’ that he would offer some distinct perks over other swordfighters in this game.
Roll: Always a fun character; she was great for trolling in MvC1 and 2, and actually playable in TvC. I would have supported her if I thought she had any chance of making it in, but my ‘Capcom may have a serious internal dislike for the franchise due to Inafune’s departure’ paranoia runs high at this time.
Edit: Again, Magnet Man may have proven me wrong regarding my sentiments on how Capcom is handling the franchise. Definitely check out his post, it’s a good one.
Cammy: I’m puzzled by this one, because I would think that X-23 covers most of her play-style already. True, there are some meaningful differences. Nonetheless, the high-speed close combat style mixed with some lunging command grabs that X-23 offers seems similar enough to Cammy that I am legitimately confused. If avoiding ‘clone characters’ (in terms of play mechanics) is desired, why would Cammy be a good addition to the roster? I concede they are not 100% identical, but they seem close enough that I would like some clarification on this as I otherwise don’t understand.
General Trends Noticed
Anti-Air Assist Voting: A significant number of the characters placing in the poll are ones famous for having strong anti-air assists in MvC2. This actually raises a question: Would such voters be satisfied if they didn’t get these specific characters, and instead existing AAAs were improved to be more viable in the role for UMvC3? For example, making Shoryuken, Stars & Stripes, Ryuenjin, etc. better. Or were your hearts truly set on Psylocke, Captain Commando, etc. as characters beyond their value as famous assists? While that phrasing may seem hostile, please understand; this is genuine inquiry and curiosity, I suspect we can learn a lot from knowing the answer to this question.
Stubborn Voting: Several characters that placed high in this poll have been dismissed by Capcom executives before. They have offered a variety of excuses as to why they cannot or will not use certain characters, both Marvel and Capcom. Some of these excuses are openly pathetic, others are plausible, others are likely completely true. Even in the face of public “no way, not happening” responses from Capcom, many of these votes persisted between polls. I think this is perhaps the most interesting thing in the poll, and would like to ask: What prompted you to continue to vote for characters Capcom and/or Marvel have outright said ‘no’ to? Was it a matter of wishing to ‘stick it to the man’? To sincerely convey your interest in these characters? Were you unaware of their remarks on these characters such as X, Gene, possibly Sengoku cast, and so on? More than anything, I really want to hear from you on these.
Variety of Voting: The vast majority of these top 30 characters are ones that it would be very easy to design a creative, unique play style for. We didn’t ask for twenty more Shotos, for example. This is a very good thing, and I can honestly say that most of the characters that ranked in either company’s top 15 would make great additions to UMvC3. That’s very encouraging, and gives me faith in how valid and useful these polls are!
Well… that was quite the wall of text, wasn’t it? I’m not expecting someone to respond to the entire post. Instead, feel free to pick out just a few topics that struck your interest and elaborate on those.