A few hours ago, update 3.1.0 dropped. This is the update I’ve been wanting for five years. While most people are interested in this update for the major top-tier balance patches, or the VR compatibility, we don’t care about that. We care about Amiibo being usable online.
This update consisted of two updates to amiibo: first, they can be used in arenas online. There is now an option to allow for amiibo in an arena. You’re not obligated to enter an amiibo, but most people do. I’ve messed around with it a little bit, and it’s quite funny how many people don’t even have level 50 amiibo to enter, let alone proper Spirits setups. For the time being, it looks like arenas are easy pickings for more serious amiibo trainers.
I scanned in a Bowser who I had just put Super Armor onto without regard to how the Spirits would affect his training (as each individual Spirit in the game affects the amiibo data by a set amount of data points). Due to the Spirits, he ended up a horrid amiibo. He jumped around and avoided the opponent and was generally a pain in the butt to deal with. This Bowser would be eliminated in the first round of the lowest-level vanilla tournament without his stats. Yet he steamrolled two level 50 amiibo, one Corrin and one Pokemon Trainer. They were gruesome matches, and could’ve been much worse considering I had left Learning On.
I haven’t yet messed around with the Journey, but I’m told I won’t need to. The journey consists of you scanning in your amiibo, and then your amiibo will go and fight any number of battles against strange amiibo. The rulesets appear to be completely random, as some people are reporting timed matches with items, others are reporting free-for-all stock matches, some have even said stamina was their ruleset. It doesn’t seem to have any training value whatsoever, especially considering the relatively tight conditions amiibo must be trained in to produce a high-level contender.
It appears that the CPU AI has been drastically improved. While the AI itself is much less… fluid than it previously was, it certainly seems to be more effective. I am pretty good at Smash, at least when it comes to beating CPUs, and I haven’t been able to beat the new AI. While I’m not for certain that it was improved or just changed, I have it on good authority (Blank) that the AI has been jiggled around before and it does affect CPUs. It wouldn’t be unprecedented.
It’s impossible to determine the effects that this update has had or will have on the amiibo metagame. We’ve certainly been given a lot more attention, as over a dozen new accounts have joined the scene the last twelve hours. It seems entirely possible that a few media outlets may even report on this (a few days ago I did an interview with Fullsync, in case I hadn’t mentioned that here) and get curious about the community that’s been living under a rock for all these years.
The one possibility that has always grabbed my imagination is the possibility that the hobby may grow to a much larger size. I’m a firm believer that everybody should enter amiibo tournaments, and that they should be a side event at competitive Smash tournaments as well. The fact that Nintendo is facilitating competitive amiibo in some fashion means that we have a bit more room that we can grow into. While I do believe the social dynamics will drastically shift, as up until this point the amiibo community has been small and very familiar with each other, I look forward to seeing what this update could do to the hobby and metagame at large.