Look at any popular, competitive video game and it's practically guaranteed that there will be a particular exploit that advanced players use to gain the edge over their opponents. Whether these exploits are "cheating" or not is very much debatable; it can certainly be argued that a glitch already in the game could just be seen as an advanced, difficult to master technique. After all, in the original Street Fighter II, the combo system that is now standard was originally a bug that allowed particularly dexterous players to cancel a move by inputting another move late in the initial move's animation. It was hard to do and not many knew how to pull it off, but it added a whole new layer to the game.
Shortly after the release of Mario Kart 8, a technique was discovered that is known as Firehopping. Some noticed that when drifting around corners, the usual boost that's given for a sharp turn could be greatly extended by spamming the drift button while moving the character rapidly left and right. Many called it Mario Kart 8's Snaking, which is a similar exploit found in previous Mario Kart games, and called for Nintendo to patch it out. The patch never came, but with the new 200cc mode it's been supposedly nerfed. While there's no video evidence to prove it yet, many competitive players have been remarking on message boards that the technique is greatly lessened or nonexistent in the new, faster mode. We'll update this story if and when videos turn up on Youtube to give a visual of just how much Firehopping has been lessened.
Have you noticed Firehopping being less effective in 200cc? What do you think of exploits like this, in gaming? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[source mkboards.com, via neogaf.com, kotaku.com]
I never bothered with Firehopping...
@StarDust4Ever Neither did I, I could never get the timing down. From what I've played of 200cc, though, I'd guess that nothing has changed with Firehopping; everything else has just been sped up more to the point that it doesn't really give an advantage.
There's no need for fire-hopping in 200cc...
@Gridatttack That's what the article is getting at, Lapis.
I can tell you this is absolutely true - hopping from side to side during drift boosts is something I always do. In 200cc this actually slows you down. I noticed it right away.
I always hated snaking. I enjoyed the online mode in MK DS and 7 until those things started happening and mostly avoided online with 8 once the firehopping videos started showing up. I tried it offline and for once I actually was able to pull it off, but it just feels like a dirty tactic to me and I don't want to be stuck doing something I feel is dirty just so I can have a chance at winning. This news pleases me, now I just need to get good at handling 200cc. XD
Firehoping is gone 100% in 200cc but the drifting techniques remain and sometimes you can go so fast that you lose control really bad
So? 200cc is simply too fast to make firehopping possible in all but the longest turns - that doesn't mean it's any more or less useful than before.
@Shugo I second that.
@DonSerrot worse, MK DS basically trained people to snake during the Yoshi Island get 14 miniturbos event. Winning that event was a nightmare, as I've never been able to pull it off a snake on a straitaway in DD or DS.
MK Wii, 7, & 8 were right to get rid of it. Rocking the Dpad back and forth hurt my thumb bad. Yet I'm an absolute pro at drifting and corner hugging in MK 7 & 8 and can use the technique very effectively.
The benefit you get from firehopping is so petty it's insignificant at best. In an online race littered with items, it begs for an accident to occur. I tried it a few times in Time Trials and botched it bad usually ruining the turbo in the process. Like snaking, I can't do it, but the competitive edge is so small I could care less.
200cc mode is insane but trains you to properly use the brakes during drifting. I wish they added a 200cc time trial mode as I'd love to see the über shortcuts people come up with!
Oh, and I was playing VS mode in 200cc, came out of a boost on the Fzero track, and launched a green shell going uphill during a miniturbo. Let's say I was travelling faster than the shell I launched and instantly KO'ed myself...
Firehopping is for time trials and there is not time trial for 200ccm. So where is the problem? Firehopping still works and for real races it has still no effect.
@Shugo Exactly - When I got it to work my times didn't improve - better to focus on learning every corner in the rack by heart than fire hopping.
Good to hear.
I'm not really too sure how true that is. I'll have to monitor other players who I know use the technique. I don't use it myself, I was always a bike man (& fire hopping doesn't do anything for bikes). I never really found it a major problem online though.
IMO, its going too fast for me to attempt firehopping. I prefer to play without this technique
Good. But I'll never get those perfect races back.
@gaming_24_7 Firehopping is actually for online races too, the Morton always winning scenario is common on 150cc online but with 200cc lightweights and light medium characters (e.g. Yoshi) with outward drifting bikes now dominate.
Out of the 1000s of online matches I"ve played, I don't recall ever seeing a firehopper. Maybe they're all up in the 10k VR.
Honestly, I can't begin to understand why anyone would even begin to complain about firehopping in the first place.
What? Snaking has been around since at least Mariokart DS, cause I remember people abusing the hell out of it online.
@Grumblevolcano This seems that it is finally how it should be. The heavier characters should be harder to use and take more practice. (Presuming that is what is going to happen over time).
I wish characters / parts could be changed between matches though. (More strategy depending on the competition or track).
@unrandomsam Cool idea about changing between tracks.
How do we access 200cc?
@Mommar Update your game? Update your game.
I've never seen anyone doing this anyway.
@ultimate321 It is cheating. Using an exploit in any game to give yourself and edge is just pure cheating. I am happy that 200cc puts everyone on the same playing field.
@Shugo technique? It is an exploit and cheating. You are making the game thinking you are still in the air to give yourself an extra boost. Have you seen any online streaming of people playing MK8? you really should. Fire hopping does give someone a huge advantage. Someone in the channel even asked the streamer not to do fire hopping one round and he lost by 4 places. I have seen this in action and it does give people an advantage. Items or not when it comes down to the end all the half seconds do add up.
It's the people who use this exploit that call it a technique. I always win 1st to 3rd place when I race online. The people who do use fire hopping are always way ahead no matter when you do. You say they are blown way out of proportion I see it as it is just deserved. At least now when I play 200cc online that it is real skill and not someone who cheats.
People always yell at Nintendo to patch it out. What they don't realize is that if it were patched out would take a very long time and it would be difficult because of the way the game's physics are. That would require a lot of time, especially since there's anti-gravity.
Everybody needs to face it. Firehopping will never go away completely.
To be honest, just trying to get the drift boosts on a corner in 200cc is difficult. I can't keep it on the track without cancelling before the boost on most corners.
Its not cheating and firehopping is simply removing yourself from the group in order to maintain a boost. Its avoiding friction and the loss of boost when your on the ground. Thats not cheating. It is a technique that players use from in game mechanics to give themselves an advantage. And its not a cheat, its something that requires skill to do. I can't do it myself but I'm not going to say its cheating when its not just because I can't do it myself. The players who incorporate firehopping are also the players who are most invested and who have the most practice so they're really the Mario Kart elites, of course they will win online.
If it's not something you're supposed to do in the game, I consider it cheating. But apparently the advantages it gives are minimal so I don't really care if people choose to do it. Like someone mentioned, patching it would take a lot of time and it's probably not gonna happen, sadly.
@Shugo @ultimate321 Well we can agree to disagree. The good news is that 200cc removed this and we can all be on the same playing field. Now if they only made 200cc time trials.
I tried 'firehopping' a few different times but it never gelled with me, same as the 'snaking' from some of the older games. Firehopping never really seemed to make much difference in live races anyway, at least not in the same manner as the one-sided snaking races I would see in Mario Kart DS's online.
Seemed more useful for time trials.
The funniest thing about all this to me is that a technique that's been about since Mario kart 64 called soft drifting gives an even bigger advantage than fire hopping in my opinion yet no one complains about that, probably because they don't know when people do it. Also a friend of mine emailed Nintendo who said fire hopping is meant to be in the game, it makes sense physics wise anyway and I think should be included, I just hope all the complaining hasn't put Nintendo off including it in the next Mario kart game as it adds more to the game than anti gravity does. And yes firehopping still works in 200cc, no the effect is not as great probably due to the speed you normally travel at and its even harder now making the risk/reward factor lean way more to risk which is why less are doing it. It's like using heavy karts now and on old games, if you're skilled enough they are faster, same with firehopping. Its unfortunate that people want Nintendo games to be easy to play easy to master, it's like people complaining about combos and super moves in fighting games, they aren't always advertised or in the manual but they are in the game. Oh and firehopping works with all karts and bikes, I don't know how people got the idea it doesn't work with inward drifting bikes, it's safer with them but has less effect, makes sense really.
firehopping is a technique. very useful if you do it right but can mess up up if done wrong. never a need to patch it and not necessarily a glitch. it only adds to the game. i've noticed that it doesn't work in 200cc ONLY in certain circumstances where the track bends down then up. it follows the laws of physics in that, by hopping, there is less resistance in the air than on the ground. I instinctively tried to do it in mkwii and was super stoked when I found it to work in mk8.
Don't be bitter because you are to lazy to learn a new technique or are incompetent in the skill department. you are missing out on an exciting addition to mk8.
I honestly forgot about fire hopping.
Oh god, the whining...
Snaking in Mario Kart or F-Zero, or wavedashing in Smash Bros, none of it is cheating.
Cheating would be finding a way to actually change the way the game behaves in order to get an advantage, or exploiting weaknesses in the game's netcode to interfere with other players. Discovering strange patterns in the physics of a game is not cheating.
People just get upset that there are techniques which exist that might be difficult to learn and master, and thus they are bitter that better players can increase the skill gap. Mario Kart has an item which specifically tracks down the leading racer and puts them at a stop for ~2 seconds. If bad players get blue shells, then good players should get snaking.
@beautifulstrong Sorry I don't like to cheat. See you in 200cc
@Haz Well the great thing that it is gone from 200cc. No more issues now.
@jellyape "A friend of mine?" people use that line way to much just so they can say something and not provide any proof.
@SirRandall oh you make me chuckle, if I was gonna lie I'd say I emailed Nintendo xP also again completely ignoring a technique that i think gives a bigger advantage than fire hopping. And fire hopping is not gone from 200cc its just harder so less people are doing till they get better, it's still very handy for overtaking people out of the last corner
So what you're saying is... This update was a game changer. >_>
@SirRandall What are you talking about, I bet his dad works for Nintendo and everything.
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