Street Fighter 5's second season begins today with the addition of Akuma as a playable character.
Akuma arrives alongside his story, premium battle and nostalgia costumes. There's a £24.99 Season 2 character pass, which gets you Akuma and five brand new characters throughout the year, along with their premium costumes and a PS4 theme.
There are a huge number of balance changes. Capcom's put out a 92-page PDF with all the details. I won't go through them all here, but instead look at the tweaks from an overarching perspective.
Capcom changed invincible moves that don't use meter, such as a Shoryuken, because it found characters who had them were better than those who didn't.
Normal throws have been changed, particularly for those characters who could loop throw at the edge of the screen.
Because of these changes, characters who were able to attack more often and had a long reach became significantly stronger, so Capcom adjusted the strength of general attacks for all characters to balance it out.
Meanwhile, the leaked information I reported on last week is now confirmed, including the public shaming of rage quitters. Here's Capcom's note on the new system:
The current Rage Quit System has resulted in a significant decrease in rage quitting. That said, we always planned to take this one step further and are ready to further address the issue with this update. In addition to losing League Points and being locked out of online matchmaking for a set time, the following additions have been made to the system:
Matchmaking Update - Players who frequently disconnect during matches will now be more likely to be matched up with other players who exhibit similar behaviour. The same applies for honourable players who rarely, if ever disconnect; they will be matched up with similar players.
Player Profile Icons - The worst offenders and the most honourable players will also have a special icon displayed on their Fighter Profiles.
League Points Deduction - Anytime a player disconnects during a match, their League Points will be deducted as if it was a loss.
That last line about League Points is particularly welcome. Hopefully that'll be that for rage quitting.
And finally, Street Fighter 5 now has Christmas costume DLC. You can get it all in a bundle that costs £15.99.