|Developer(s)||Comet Gaming, Inc.|
|Publisher(s)||Comet Gaming, Inc.|
|Release Date(s)||WW: October 26, 2018|
|Media Included||Game cartridge, download|
Splatoon 3 retains the essence of the series' gameplay. Standard matches feature two teams of four players competing in a timed match to be the first to accomplish an objective; the specific objective varies based on the mode. The game will return the four primary modes used in the two predecessors, as well as introduce an undetermined number of new modes.
The game's single-player campaign will be similar to that of Splatoon and Splatoon 2. Several new levels will be added as well as a brand new storyline. This will not be very different from the previous two entries in the series, as Comet Gaming, Inc. is focusing on expanding the multiplayer modes. However, all levels from Splatoon and Splatoon 2 will be available, to be unlocked following completion of the new levels. The levels from the Octo Expansion from Splatoon 2 will be incorporated, as well, creating a large multiplayer campaign with a total of 161 levels.
Compatibility with Splatoon 2
If players have Splatoon 2 save data on their Nintendo Switch console, they will be able to import over certain items. These include Super Sea Snails, certain pieces of gear (but not weapons), and more.
As in the previous two iterations, players have a level, which increases as experience is earned. All players start at level 1 and can go until level 99. The ability to reset at level 99 back to level 1☆ does not work anymore, as players will max out at level 99. However, the experience amount scales accordingly rather than the flat 100,000 experience per level from 50 to 99 in Splatoon 2. At the end, nearly as much experience is needed to go from 50 to 99 in Splatoon 3 as 50 to 99☆ in Splatoon 2. As a reward for the steep experience climbs, players receive large rewards upon leveling up above 50.
Regular Battle is the first of the two primary game modes, aimed to be more of a casual experience when compared to the competitive Ranked Battle mode.
Ranked Battle is the second of the two primary game modes, aimed to provide a competitive experience. Unlike Regular Battle, players have a rating based on their performance.
All ranked modes involve the attempt to make a counter go down to 0 from 100. In any mode, if the countdown reaches 0, then the game instantly ends, with the team that reached 0 winning. Otherwise, the team with the lowest amount left on their countdown after five minutes wins. Certain conditions, varying by mode, can trigger an overtime period.
|Splat Zones||1-2 different Splat Zones are placed on a map. If there is 1 Splat Zone, it is at the center of the map, while if there are 2, then they are both close to the center, but separated from each other, with one being closer to each team's spawn. If a team manages to control all Splat Zones (by covering them ink), then the timer will begin counting down. If it reaches zero, the team wins a knockout victory. If the timer is stopped by the other team and they proceed to take control, then a penalty is applied to the other team's score.|
An additional mode called Zapfish Chase was initially in development early on in mid 2017. However, the release of Clam Blitz in Splatoon led Comet Gaming, Inc. to scrap the mode, as Zapfish Chase had very similar rules. The two modes were then essentially combined to form the current Clam Blitz.
A new form of battle will be the Arena Battle, which diverges from the usual format involving two teams of four. Instead, players will be split into four teams. There are two forms of Arena Battles based on team size.
- Large Arena Battle (shortened to LAB) involve four teams of four, creating a total of sixteen players per match. Maps are usually enlarged by at least 50% to accommodate for so many players and come with new structures and passages to facilitate gameplay.
- Small Arena Battle (shortened to SAB) involve four teams of two, creating a total of eight players per match. The size of maps do not change as they are normally built for eight players. However, as before, new structures and passages will be constructed to facilitate gameplay.
Arena Battles are so large in scale that they frequently involve more than one objective, causing significant gameplay shakeups in each mode. See below for an index of how each mode will vary during an Arena Battle.
|Splat Zones||In Splat Zones, there are now a larger number of zones, always in odd numbers. Stages which normally have one Splat Zone now have three, and stages which normally have two now have five. These numbers are not true for every stage (Moray Towers has seven), but this rule is generally true. A major change is that each Splat Zone has its own individual timer, and once that timer reaches zero, the zone permanently remains under the control of the team that owns it. There are several victory conditions.
|Rainmaker||In the Rainmaker mode, there will be two different Rainmakers and four total pedestals for a total of three that a team can target. One major gameplay change is that after a team makes it to the opposing pedestal, the Rainmaker will return to the center. This creates a variety of victory conditions.
Like in Ranked Battles, players receive a score for their performance in Arena Battles, split up by Small or Large Arena Battles. As in Ranked Battles, these range from C- to X.
Squad Battle returns, serving as a combination of Squad Battle from Splatoon and League Battle from Splatoon 2. Players can form groups of 2, 3, 4, or only for Arena Battles, 6 and 8, to participate in Ranked/Arena Battle modes. Possible pairings differ by mode.
As in League Battle, players can receive a tracking of their Power Rating. The section on Power Rating below will go into more detail on how this metric is tracked.
The game will feature a very extensive tracking of "power level", a concept touched upon in the previous two iterations. In Splatoon 3, a player's power level is determined by an internal algorithm analyzing a player's performance in a match independent of the match results. In short, a player's rank in Ranked or Arena Battles is a rough indicator of their overall team performance, while Power Rating is very individual.
Another difference from rank is that overall Power Rating is not tied to any mode. Instead, it encompasses the player's performance over all matches.
Teams used in Squad Battles also have a Power Rating tied to them, although this rating only holds for the exact same combination of players. For example, if players A and B are playing a Squad Battle and hover around a rating of 1800, and then player C joins the two, leading to a rating hovering around 1900, this new rating will not hold if player C leaves the room. Instead, it will revert to the ~1800 rating.
Unlike in the previous games, players can check their Power Rating at any time, as it is displayed near the player's rank. The player can also check a graph of their all-time Power Rating, with the x-axis interchangeable between real-world time and the number of matches played.
Ideal matchmaking will involve players with Power Ratings within 20 points of each other, although this is not always the case. The most allowed in any case is a 100 point deviation between the highest Power Rating in a lobby and the lowest.
Every month, Comet Gaming, Inc. will release statistics related to Power Ratings among active players (i.e. players who have played at least 1 match within the last 30 days). Among the statistics released are the mean, median, and quartiles. Additionally, the top 500 players will be ranked every month. Players who make this list have a higher chance of being invited to officially sponsored tournaments.
A majority of weapons from Splatoon and Splatoon 2 will return. Each weapon comes with an included Sub Weapon and Special Weapon, the majority of which will also return from the prior two games. New weapons will be included in the game, as well.
A new feature included in the game are Weapon Promotions. In the previous two games, abilities could be unlocked through gear (hats, shirts, and shoes). Splatoon 3 retains gear but also allows the ability to unlock special, weapon class-specific abilities. For example, a majority of chargers can receive promotions that slightly increase range. Promotions are earned in a specific order by inking a certain amount of turf using the weapon.
The Weapon Promotions for each specific weapon class are listed below.
Most Special Weapons from Splatoon and Splatoon 2 will make a comeback, for a total of fourteen returning weapons; Ink Armor and Bomb Rush are omitted, although the function of the latter is essentially replicated by Bomb Launcher. New Special Weapons are planned, as well.
A majority of stages featured in the original two games will return; some will be modified as well. An undetermined number of new stages will also appear in the game.
Comet Gaming, Inc.'s tournaments will take place primarily in the spring and fall. Qualifying rounds take place in late May/November, in which players who wish to participate will play in a variety of officially held tournaments, organized by small. The qualifying round takes the form of a round-robin tournament, in which each team plays many other teams in a best-of-three round, with a map/mode combination determined prior to the start of each round.
At the end, the teams with the highest overall round victory counts will advance to regional finals in early June/December. These regional finals typically group several countries together, aside from the larger ones which have many participants (such as the United States and Japan). The regional finals are held in the same format as the qualifying rounds.
The victorious teams then advance to international finals in mid June/December and are seeded in a sixty-four team bracket based on their records in the preliminary and regional rounds. The tournament is single-elimination and the format changes to a best of five until the quarterfinals, where it changes to best of seven. The winning team wins the equivalent of $250,000 plus miscellaneous prizes. The second, third, and fourth placing teams win $100,000, $50,000, and $25,000 respectively, with all other teams winning a $1,000 compensation.
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