Developer Team Notes #9 – Competitive Duels and SMASH LEGENDS’ Future

Hey there. DEV ALICE here.

Recently, the introduction of Super Jump and Competitive Duel, as well as sudden hotfixes and balance patches, might have caused some confusion among many players. In this dev note, I would like to talk about the recent updates and share insights into the upcoming changes and direction of SMASH LEGENDS.


This may not exactly be a lighthearted story, but I must talk about the path SMASH LEGENDS has walked so far.

Around a year ago, SMASH LEGENDS was in a difficult position where it would not have been weird for it to shut down its services. Revenues were insufficient to keep the game afloat, and we attempted to attract more users through marketing, but people were not receptive to an unfinished game.
As a result, there was pressure from outside the team to shut the service down. But the development team decided to take special measures and significantly reduce the size of the team. The team, composed of individuals who love SMASH LEGENDS, discontinued the regular development of new maps and modes, instead focusing on game improvements, with only the bimonthly character releases being new content.

Throughout this process, we repeatedly made the difficult decision to continue the service of SMASH LEGENDS, and there have both been times where we were satisfied and times where we regretted the decision. During this time, we added features like Clan, Enchantment, Trophy Road, Sponsor, and ad rewards. While some changes were positive and some were not, they all contributed to the growth of the game. As of now, SMASH LEGENDS is currently climbing the charts in multiple countries and generating decent profits through marketing and such. The strides we made both internally and externally have allowed us to expand our team again.

These kinds of decisions are still being made today. Out of those, the one we are putting a lot of our attention into is the Duel mode.


SMASH LEGENDS is a game built on the 3:3 mode as the basis.
However, new users found the 3:3 mode to be complex and difficult to understand. In response, we tested out various modes that specifically target new users, such as Dominion, Touchdown, Duel, and Battle Royale. From this, we observed that modes with lower combat density received more positive responses. Therefore, we decided to make Duel the first mode that new users would learn the game through.

But Duel had awkward individual Legend balancing, and there was a clear limit to the combat. Nonetheless, we wanted new users who were introduced to the game through the Duel mode to ease into the game properly. And to expand on and improve the Duel mode, we introduced Super Jump and Competitive Duel.

The addition of Super Jump spiced up the duels, but it was not a permanent solution that could solve the balancing issues that arose from many Legends being primarily designed for Dominion. A disparity formed between Legends that were good at using super jumps and those who were not, and successful utilization of super jumps was rare. Despite its limitations and shortcomings, Super Jump will remain as it allowed players to overcome limits and make new, impressive plays.

However, Competitive Duel failed be a mode that kept users engaged with the game. We hit a balancing wall trying to maintain two main modes. And for these reasons, we decided to discontinue Competitive Duel as of September 26th.
We would like to apologize to all the Smashers who enjoyed Competitive Duels. However, this does not mean we are abandoning Duel mode entirely. Duel mode still holds a lot of potential as a fun and distinctive mode. We will continue working toward developing and improving other modes, including Duel.


This has been the most discussed topic since the introduction of Competitive Duel and Super Jump.

Many of you are probably aware of the recent hotfixes that nerfed Legends such as Zeppetta, Master Cat, and Wolfgang. We were quick to implement these changes because we feared that new players would have a bad experience losing unfairly to these Legends who were powerful in Duels. Many players were probably disappointed by the sudden nerfs, and we also recognized that it was a patch that left much to be desired, both in process and outcome. While these balance changes were made in consideration for Duel, we failed to clearly communicate the intentions behind them. The hasty implementation of these changes significantly affected many players’ experiences, which is a mistake we are reflecting on.

As such, we would like to share with you briefly how our balancing process works.
SMASH LEGENDS shares various stats like pick/win rates on, which has also garnered interest from the community. While we do take these numbers into consideration when making balancing changes, we cannot rely on numbers for the full story when balancing. There have been instances where we based our balance changes purely on the stats, but we concluded that such an approach did not significantly improve the overall gameplay experience. As a result, our recent approach to balancing has shifted considerably.
Dominion is still the main focus of our balance, but we still balance the game based on a variety of experiences and experiments. Currently, our balancing principle is that “there is no such thing as perfect balance in SMASH LEGENDS, and changes are made constantly to create a fun and evolving game.”

SMASH LEGENDS from here on.

SMASH LEGENDS is at a critical juncture. Throughout its history, SMASH LEGENDS’ ability to provide long-term service has always been somewhat uncertain. However, the dedication and efforts over the past year have led to substantial progress and demonstrated clear potential for growth. And currently, the dev team has reached a phase where we need to significantly expand the scale of the game to prove this potential. As developers, it pains us that we have to ask our Smashers for just a bit more patience.

However, we will never stop our pursuit of creating a more enjoyable and enduring game. There might have been shortcomings in our communication and in other aspects, but we are actively working on improving them. As DEV ALICE, I started several channels on Discord as a means to engage with Smashers and have more open conversations. We are striving to become more approachable devs who people can communicate comfortably with through various channels. We are also working on fun events like “Ask the Legends,” as well as many projects such as guides to help with onboarding, improvements based on in-game feedback, matchmaking improvements, and more. While we can’t provide definitive answers regarding releases of new maps and modes, given the recent potential for growth SMASH LEGENDS has shown, they might resume in the future.
We are truly grateful to all of you who have supported SMASH LEGENDS despite its imperfections, and we will continue our efforts to make SMASH LEGENDS a better game and us a more beloved team.

Many of you might still have lots of questions you still want answered. Please look forward to our Dev Q&A!