M.U.G.E.N, being a game engine at heart, contains support for an order system that tells the engine what kind of characters should be fought in what sequence in Arcade mode.
This system was initially designed to support the level system in fighting games, where regular characters are fought for several levels before a boss is fought. However, since M.U.G.E.N has gone from being a game engine to being an impromptu "Everything vs Everything" game, this system is also used to create a difficulty curve in Arcade mode or to keep cheap characters out of the early stages of Arcade mode (or to omit them entirely).
How it works
When installed, every character can be assigned an order, which is usually determined by how powerful/overpowered/cheap the character is. More dangerous characters, such as boss characters, should be assigned higher orders, but it is up to the user to use his discretion and decide where the character should be placed. A character can be assigned an order value from 0 to 10. If a character is assigned a value of 0, he/she/it will not appear in the Arcade mode. If no value is assigned, the character will automatically be assigned an order value of 1.
A sample character line in select.def looks like this, and the order can be easily told.
Mizuchi, stages/NBC_MIZUCHI_STAGE/NBC_MIZUCHI_STAGE.def, order=2
This tells the engine that Mizuchi is of order 2 out of 10.
This works in tandem with another section in select.def that tells the maximum number of characters of each successive order to be fought in Arcade mode. The actual number could be less.
A separate line is included for Team Battle mode, and the two can be configured separately.
A sample line for arcade mode in select.def looks like this:
arcade.maxmatches = 1,2,2,2,2,2,2,1,1,1
As such, the player will fight 1 character of order 1, up to 2 characters of order 2, up to 2 characters of order 3 and so on until he fights 1 character of order 8, 1 character of order 9, and 1 character of order 10.
For a proper Arcade mode experience, the characters should roughly be arranged in increasing difficulty to fight. As such, the order of characters should be assigned as follows:
- Regular characters: orders 1 and 2
- Stronger Edit characters: orders 3 and 4
- Midboss type characters: orders 5 and 6
- Final Boss characters: orders 7 and 8
- Prefixed Characters/Cheap Characters: orders 9 and 10 (optional)
In addition, do remember to take the AI strength of the character into account. Regular characters with high-level AI may need to have their order bumped up to match the actual difficulty of fighting them.