A Guide On How To Enjoy MK8 By Forgetting MKW Prevent yourself from ruining it on day 1 by Trifroze Introduction What was the initial factor that made us appreciate Mario Kart Wii as much as we ended up appreciating it to allow for the game to stay exciting and last for such a long time? Was it clans and communities, or maybe the community as a whole with all the events, drama and fads surrounding it? Was it the overall design of the game on Nintendo's part or the metagame that resulted from all this? What I'm going to bring up is something that's completely different in nature, something that allowed for the aforementioned phenomena to emerge with such a strong presence in the first place. Something that's in your own head. I consider this perhaps the most important thing to talk about with Mario Kart 8 release closing in as it can save the initial or even entire experience of many people who may not even know of forgetting or not realizing this, or have never had the need to think about it. So what is it then? Well, that's what this article is about and we'll get to that eventually, but let's start off by looking at some of the fundamentals that made MKW what it was. Fundamentals of MKW's success: design and metagame While the game has had its more or less apparent flaws, in the end it's built in such a way that every little thing adds up just right to allow for a great balance between the non-random and random, in other words something we more commonly like to call skill and luck. But really, what does random even truly mean in the end? Random is defined as something that's unpredictable, but predictability depends on the observer, so how do we tell what is and isn't random in MKW? Some people broadened the non-random partition of MKW to themselves by realizing that perhaps they should refuse blaming things on luck and instead take the step to observe the game further, leading to a massive advantage over most players in terms of understanding the game. The people who had this knowledge with the addition of possessing the tech skill to effectively and consistently execute it were what we consider the best MKW players of all time today, and while counting them requires more than the fingers of one person, there truly aren't many who fit this category, however we are not here to list them now. While this is the case, most observers kept the bar on what's random much lower. Yes, in theory everything could be predictable, but if most humans cannot predict something without considerable effort it's considered random by definition. We have the two extremes; the ones I described earlier and the ones who disregard MKW as a party game after playing it for less than two hours. All of this leads to the point that without some sort of empirical evidence one person isn't justified to define the ratio between skill and luck in MKW no matter how good they are or how much knowledge they have. However, as a person with gameplay and community experience from throughout the years of the game I can safely say that on average, the ratio between skill and luck was considered to be extremely even; the game somehow offers competitiveness through balance and technical depth and entertainment through unexpected and random events both at the same time just about equally. While the reward for executing a single advanced technique or shortcut usually isn't massive, perfecting the game requires a lot of tech skill and there's a lot to learn in terms of both execution and thinking, but at the same time, practically anything can happen. In the end, it's nowhere near the epitome of competitive gaming but it also cannot be shaken off as a party game. MKW offers repetition and new at an arguably perfect ratio. Fundamentals of MKW's success: community Another contributing factor to MKW's success was the reception of the game, it sold almost 35 million copies. Everyone knows that 90% of this number consists of people who played only a few times before leaving their copy to collect dust, but quantity has the quality of its own. 10% Out of 35 million is more than 50% out of 5 million. Things moved forward because there were a lot of people pushing them forward with new people constantly coming in, and this is my only, albeit small, concern for MK8; the Wii U's entire install base isn't even a quarter of what MKW sold. Despite the aforementioned concern I still think the sales for MK8 will be sufficient, so while the poor install base bites off some of the potential MK8 could end up having, these worries are mostly moot. This is because we must differentiate overall audience from the community. Overall audience consists of everyone who buys the game, while community is the tiny minority of players that gets together to talk about it, organize events and actively get better at the game. We, the community will buy the game if it merely looks good and we will keep playing it if it delivers which it most likely will, and the potential newcomers we will lose from the community because of having a smaller overall audience equates to a relatively low number. Obviously now, the community was the butter on the bread with MKW and enabled a lot of people to stay interested in the game several times longer than what they would've if it was never really established or if it was considerably smaller. Even though a lot of things could've been executed better during its time, it definitely offered us a run for our money. In the end, while sales were a strong factor for the competitive success of MKW, I feel that MK8 with lesser sales may even create a stronger community with the MKW community backing it up and MKB pushing things forward at a faster place while working on pulling new players in. You can ruin your experience even with good fundamentals Alright, we've now got an idea of the fundamentals that allowed MKW to create all the commotion it did, but at this point I should mention that these things aren't the important factor I was going for in this article that I talked about in the very beginning. It's something much more basic than that. The reason MKW created such a lasting impression was not the balance between skill and luck alone, it was not the huge sales alone, and it wasn't even both of those things together. It was because no one expected it to do what it did. People didn't set any expectations for the game and it positively surprised the hell out of us. With this said, there was a small minority who did place expectations for the game and ended up having their experience ruined because of it. I'm talking about some of the people who played MKDS competitively before MKW. They expected MKW to deliver the same things MKDS did, which it didn't, and ignored the fact that it was a great game because it was different from what they wanted, different from what they expected. Probably an even better example of this comes from an entirely different franchise, Super Smash Bros. Expectations for Brawl were so tied to Melee that it brewed a shitstorm that to this day hasn't subsided. MKW flourished because we weren't looking for anything particular from it, hence we fully took in the new experiences it offered us during our first months or even years with it without constantly comparing it to something else or bashing on it because it wasn't what we wanted. Do not forget this. Conclusion So what have we learned? Despite Wiimm's attempts to run a private server which may not even be possible, MKW will be officially dead on May 20th when Nintendo WiFi Connection shuts down globally. When this happens, forget MKW as a game if you're going to buy MK8. Do not expect to get MKW2 when you play it because it won't be the same and it won't replace what the death of MKW takes away. The only things you should safely expect is a new high quality game and a brand new experience, that's literally it. If it flops competitively it can still be casually great or vice-versa, or maybe it'll be great in both aspects but play out totally differently from what we're used to. MK8 is a new game, treat it as such and you might just end up having a wonderful time with it.