We previously reported on the unspecified \”balance adjustments\” included in update 1.03 to Super Smash Bros. for 3DS\’ online multiplayer. Nintendo\’s official page on the patch offers no details about what these changes entailed, but many players spoke up on social media about subtle differences they had noticed.
Now, we have proof that no characters\’ attacks received any changes whatsoever. Dantarion, a notable figure within the community, has datamined the game and released his results publicly:
From what I see, everyone may be wrong. The files that I reverse engineered that contain hitbox data, much like the \”PSA\” files in Brawl, have not been changed since 1.0.2. The files marked as changed in the above link were actually changed in 1.0.2, but the changes are in sound and effects files, so its not really clear what they do, and I am not taking the time to look into it yet.
Anyways, the folder called animcmd contains the scripts used for hitboxes and stuff. Now, there are still files that we don\’t understand that have been changed, like the main exe has a bunch of changes, but as far as data goes, heres all the stuff. I may have done something incorrect, but all of the text changes mentioned show up in my diffs, but all of the hitboxes changes I SHOULD be seeing if posts are correct, are not.
Conclusion: nothing relating to the characters themselves was altered.
So what actually was changed in update 1.03? The Conquest chart was in fact removed from active Conquest mode. Anything that would \”make for a more pleasant gaming experience.\” Stability, in general. Any glitches that the programmers are aware of would probably have been patched out. No one has yet deconfirmed rumours that online lag has been reduced (although that\’s also the hardest claim to verify).
It could be that the writers of these official update notices are simply using the word \”balance\” differently from the rest of the internet. Stability changes and a smoother online experience could also be said to be more \”balanced\” – maybe they aren\’t aware of the history and implications of that particular word?
It\’s also worth noting that, despite the fact that no characters were actually changed, many people claimed to have noticed differences in certain moves. There was even some agreement about easily testable changes, like reduced roll lag. Could Nintendo\’s refusal to release patch details actually have been masking a study on the placebo effect? Clever.