Thursday, September 24, 2020

Rockman X DiVE - Six Months of Lights and Shadows (Editorial)

Today marks Rockman X DiVE's semi-anniversary or in other words, six months since the game launched in some select countries. To mark the occasion, we're taking a look back...

It's been quite a journey since we had the chance to sample the game for the first time back in September 2019. That was followed by six months of waiting until the game was finally released on March 24th, 2020.

Love it or hate it, but the game has ignited the Mega Man community like no other. Content creators like us talk about it almost on a daily basis, not to mention the Rockman X DiVE Fan Discord channel is bursting with activity. Of course, not everything has been good. As it stands today, Rockman X DiVE is a mix of lights and shadows: good and bad, things that work and things that don't.

It's inevitable to talk about the "shadows" first, really. It's unfortunate but they cloud the game almost every time the development team shares any kind of information.

Is that hard to triple-check?

There is no way to sugar coat it: the development team's communication is mediocre at best. We are going to put aside their English which, to be fair, has improved since launch (at least when it comes to in-game dialogue). But their mistakes keep piling up. They are not an exception, but the norm.

Whether the X DiVE team are short-staffed or not, a lot of their mistakes could be fixed by doing spellcheck in a text processor... which is something that they clearly don't do. It's not uncommon to find typos in skill descriptions, in-game stage dialogue or even in their trailers. Who can forget the notoriously famous misspelling of "Maverick" as "Marverick", "super cute" as "spuer cute" or "Yukata" as "Yutaka", just to name a few.

This is not a matter of the development team not being native English speakers, let alone the chance that they may not have someone on the team fluent in English. This is a simple matter of paying attention; doing proper testing and even triple-checking every piece of text they write.

At the end of the day, this doesn't ruin the game itself for me. However, the typos are a common occurrence and it really has to be mentioned.

Deep Log Bug!

Since day one, the game has been plagued with all kind of bugs. The most recent example being a bug that prevents sound effects from playing properly. But let's not forget some old favorites:
  • Not being able to login.
  • Connectivity issues for CO-OP and PVP.
  • The player randomly teleporting to weird places in event stages, forcing you to restart the stage.
  • Weapons and characters not being reset properly in the Boss Raid event.
  • Skills that don't work or are unbalanced to the point of being broke (ex: the stun skill from the Explosive Blower).

The list goes on and on, really. And if you're looking for a testament to how many issues the game had, look no further than the countless compensation rewards they sent to players' in-game mail. It's a lot.

Music, Inconsistency and Gacha 

Music has been particularly disappointing for me. While the few original music tracks are good, the game barely received any new remixes of old music, with the only stand out being the Jakob Orbital Elevator track. It's also not uncommon to play events where the music doesn't even match the series or the tone of the event. There's clearly some work to do in this area.

As for inconsistency, this is mainly about the team's inability to match the 2D art when creating 3D character models, such as incorrectly colored body parts. Better yet, an example of how careless they are, during the White Day event, they left in a "gettyimages" watermark in one of the Gigantic Mechaniloid CF-0 textures. There has been a few mistakes in the animated 2D artwork, too. Again, there is a layer of double or triple checking missing here.

As for the gacha rates, they are low and it's obviously a frustrating mechanic most of the time. The dev team attempted to fix it by raising the drop rate and adding an exchange list that, in reality, is aimed for people who spend real money. After all, what are the chances that you'll spend 25K EM in a banner to get the exchange points necessary, in case you don't get the character from the banner?

To the team's credit, they tried to make it better. But when all is said and done, I don't think it made that much of a difference. On the other hand, they are usually very generous with rewards; the vigor and party coins pretty much give us a few S ranks characters for free, too. That's a nice trade off.

But all in all, most of the game's profit is made from the gacha system. Naturally, it will be hard to find a balance between making money and trying to keep the "free to play" players happy. However, other gacha games seem to operate more kindly to "free to play" players. Perhaps the dev team can learn a thing or two from them?

The list of issues goes on. And I have to say, this is not me nitpicking. Everyone that closely follows and plays the game on a daily basis is aware of them. In its current state, Rockman X DiVE is not an operation that's smoothly run in any regard, be it gameplay or marketing. So for many of us, that begs the questions of, if Capcom Japan are really supervising the game closely enough, shouldn't they be giving Capcom Taiwan what they need? A larger budget? More staff?

Regardless of which branch of the company we're talking about, there is a certain high-quality pedigree to Capcom that players come to expect. Whether it's a mobile title like Rockman X DiVE or a "major" title like a hypothetical Mega Man X9 or Mega Man 12, there is a degree of quality we expect. Rockman X DiVE is very much an official game. It should be treated as such.

Now, not everything is bad. I, personally, find the game entertaining and worth spending 30 to 60 minutes of my time everyday playing it.

The basic core of the game and all the crafting and customization mechanics work well and are deep. The game has plenty of game modes and events to keep you busy. Barring some slowdown and lag issues in PVP, I think the game plays well

The game has good graphics and animation, at least when playing on a phone, and we can't forget all the beautiful artwork drawn by Keisuke Mizuno and Capcom Taiwan's staff. The extra effort they put into animated the artwork is always eye candy, too.

Fans Like Us

Since day one, it's been pretty clear that the development team are fans of Mega Man. And like most of us, they are passionate and a bit nerdy. Some people might think at times they are borderline unprofessional but, personally, I like it. In an industry that is ruled by cookie-cutter Public Relations, this "offbeat" fun has been a trademark of Capcom Japan with the Capcom TV crew's shenanigans and of course with Ucchy-san running the Rockman social media. They have so much fun doing what they love and it shows.

Another thing to appreciate about them is that they have listened to players' concerns. They don't get it right all the time, but they are trying which is more than you can say about other developers out there.

For example:
  • They improved the gacha rates and added an exchange list.
  • They added dialogue to event stage like most players requested.
  • They tried to fix the "double buster shot" and the "spinning saber" techniques.
  • They reduced the use of online rankings in events to hamper the abuse of "whales".
  • Most importantly, they allowed us to spend all the EP at once significantly reducing the grinding in event stages.

While there is still a long way to go for the game to become truly great, at least we know our voices are heard.

Talking about the roster is always complicated. Everyone has their favorites and no matter what the developer does, they can't please everyone.

To begin with, the fact that the game has such an appreciation for Command Mission is already a win for me. Granted the complaints about "too many Zeros" are legit, but the fact that they manage to bring characters from the Classic, Zero and ZX series in less than 6 months is remarkable in my opinion. And that's not the end as two more series will join the deep log before the year ends, too! And the possibility of them, pushing it to add a third series is not far fetched.

As far as bosses go, we got to fight Wolf-Sigma, Magma Dragoon, Toxic Seahorse and many more. I can't only think of one boss that really disappointed me, Omega, whom I don't think was a good choice for the ZX event.


Bottom line, I think Rockman X DiVE is a good game with a lot of untapped potential. And while the game has some issues, I still enjoy spending some time everyday with the ultimate Mega Man fan service.

Now that the game has been officially announced for Japan, my hope now is that Capcom Japan will keep a closer eye on what Capcom Taiwan does with it. Perhaps even increase the budget and staff for as they should ideally be gaining more of a profit with an additional region.

One can only hope the release for North America and Europe is close. Let's us know in the comments what do you think about the game!


  1. I generally agree with almost everything you said, except the gacha things. X DiVE is my first gacha game so I don't know a lot, but I recently look into Priconne when they open a server in my country. The S-rank equivalent (3* characters) rate is 2.5% total. That's much lower than the 4.5%/6% we have in X DiVE. And I've heard that FGO is even worse (though they're on a different scale in popularity). X DiVE is certainly not generous with the rate, but I think we can hardly put them on the "bad" side. I'm saying this as someone who's pretty bad luck on gacha, which is why I start saving and now has 30k EM for when there is a character I really want. Also, on top of giving away S char/weapon as part of the events, you can buy S-memories in the shop occasionally and unlock them that way. The complain I would agree with on gacha is that they should have separate the characters and weapons banner so people can choose. Make the character one more expensive if they need to.

    Part of the problem, I think, is that X DiVE certainly bring a lot of fans like me who otherwise would not play a mobile/gacha game. We are not use to how this game works, business-wise. I remembered that in the first few months, my thought was "how low has my favorite series has fallen". But after a while, I think I've finally accept it. Now my thinking is "how great my favorite series is alive again (as you mentioned), albeit with a different monetization."

    1. First off: It's a good article.

      The only other gacha I have played was Final Fantasy Record Keeper and Justice Monsters.
      Both played free to play only. This is what I learned:

      Being able to play FFRK and get every character was cool. They kept the gacha to the gear. But even then, you were always chasing something and the only way to get what you wanted was to whale (i.e, pay money). The prices for said material is almost criminal. Never did that. But it gets frustrating as the difficulty starts to spike and the only way to get anywhere is to get good gear. The last straw that broke the camels back was the gacha, saving all my credits to get absolutely nothing of interest during the festival.

      Justice Monsters had the gacha limited to which monsters you earn. But since the game was unpopular it was cancelled in very short order. So all of that is now lost to the nether and can never be played again.

      None of that leaves a good taste in my mouth. gacha games, by their very nature, are designed to separate players with OCD from their cash so they can get a complete set. It's those whales who fund the game so everyone else can play F2P. The price model is a real issue, but a conversation for a different time.

      Gacha is not like trading cards. You can trade those, you can sell them, can collect an entire set and keep them forever, put them in your bike tire, set them on fire... Whatever.

    2. Yeah, it's still a gacha game, and if I can choose I'd certainly wish it wasn't. Sooner or later, the server will be gone and there will be no way to keep anything we "earned". That's a part of what I was sad about initially. I kinda just accept it now though. I have a new X game to play, and revitalized community to enjoy it with. Hopefully it made enough money to convince Capcom for a new mainline X game, and maybe Legend 3...

  2. I also think Omega was not the good choice of boss for the ZX event. He was just a bonus boss in ZX and is first a MMZ character.
    But as someone pointed out on youtube (or was it here in the comments?) i can see where the choice came from. They needed a iconic boss to present it as a big event. Albert is probably kept for a future ZXA event, and let's be honest: no one give a crap about Serpent. (Seriousely, when was the last time you saw a fan art of Serpent or a discussion about him in a forum or social media?)
    When people speak boss battle in MMZX, it's either Prometheus and Pandora (and they could'nt make Prometheus the boss when one of the playable was Pandora), or the bonus boss Omega.

    1. The update is way too frequent. We have new event almost every week. So I think they just don't have enough time to make new bosses for events. They already put all the efforts into making characters. Recoloring ZZ into omega is an easy way to make a new boss.

    2. @Donald. I don't think that is the issue. Making new character models is the one things they seems to have Zero problem with.
      I think anon1 have a point, Since the event promotion put some enfasis on the boss.

  3. I don't see what caused the issues like spelling, except if they are indeed short on staff or budget.
    The balance issues, on the other hand, i think they can be chalked up to the fact that it was pretty much a beta.
    My guess is that the japanese version will be able to better balance things and have a better gacha rate thanks to this.
    It might help that they will be able to exploit the assets and artwork acumulated in the past 6 month at the same time as the ones currently being made.

  4. The funny thing about the over use of Zero, I can still see them making X1 Zero his own character as well, since they could easily just use his moves as a boss for Vile in MHX as his attacks.

    ...They really should have made a Festive X to go with Zero as well.

    1. In the long run, there will be more X than Zero, though. We're missing Omega, Absolute Zero, and if we want to stretch it and include character who are similar to Zero, Gyro and model ZX Aile and Vent.
      For X there will be 3rd Armor, possibly golden armor, 4th armor, Falcon, Gaea, Blade, Shadow, Glide, Neutral (assuming Hermes and Icarus will be skins and not different characters), X-fire, Cyber-elf X. And including X's archetypes, Copy-X and Model-X Aile/Vent. That's A LOT of X.
      Taking that in account i can see why they'd favor other characters for event themed variants. Even if i would have loved a festive X as well.
      The problem would be that they released the various Zero quite early when i think about it.

    2. Model ZX Aile is already in the game

  5. While it is an Official Game, it is also a mobile game, it will probably never be treated on the same level as a console game. Not trying to sugar coat or anything but for a Mobile game, RXD is very very good game. It has deep mechanics just like Console MMX games and tons more systems and modes than your average mobile game with tons of ways to earn premium currency etc.

  6. Since the next collab event is DASH, and they have been including them chronologically, I assume for the next serie to be included, they will start the network timeline with Battle network, and Starforce will come later.
    Except if they throw a curveball and include some X-Over representation.


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