Disclaimer: The reasons and motives I will lay out for Bandai Namco’s business decisions are purely my own opinion and speculative in nature. Zero ill will is directed at them and the development team, quite the opposite actually.
There’s quite a bit of confusion surrounding exactly what separates WMMT5 international and 5DX Japanese game versions. I thought it would be a good idea to make a post detailing every difference currently in the leadup to the international release of 5DX, and explaining why exactly this is the case in my opinion as someone who closely follows all versions of these games.
So why does Japan have so much more content than the international versions? Why do screenshots of 5DX keep popping up with content you had no idea existed? Why does their version look better? Load faster?
There isn’t a huge amount of specific info regarding differences in the arcade hardware, but the biggest and most obvious difference is the hardware that the Japanese version of 5DX currently runs on, which then leads into why they happen to have all this extra content.
Maximum Tune 4 came out on December 15th, 2011 in Japan and ran on a custom Namco arcade system called “System ES1“.
System ES1 boots to a custom Linux Debian kernel and dual boots Windows Embedded 7 on top of that to run the game. This dual booting alongside the enhanced network support is what allowed Maximum Tune 4 to access the internet and support the banapass system. It was made to replace the now ancient Namco System N2 hardware that WMMT3 – WMMT3DX+ ran on.
When you look at the update notes for the Japanese version of WMMT4, there wasn’t a huge amount of content updates, but many bug fixes. System ES1 had been used in arcades as early as 2009, so there was pressure also for Bandai Namco to update to one of the later revisions of System ES1 so as to not breach the limitations of the hardware in regards to content, functionality, and performance.
WMMT4 International version came at the very start of 2013 in January at least in Australia. We started on revision 1.01 much like Japan did, but looking at our update history suggests that the Japanese servers got more frequent revisions for bug fixes, and the international version got only 4 updates including the final 1.10 update, but each revision combined bug fixes and content updates into one. So essentially our version of WMMT4 was at parity with the Japanese version by the end of WMMT4’s lifecycle.
This is where it starts to get complicated. Not only did the development team have to distribute all the WMMT4 hardware and software to the International community, they also had to deal with the impending upgrade to System ES3 to expand the online features and content of WMMT when it came time to release WMMT5 in Japan.
This is why WMMT5 location tests in Japan started as early as 2013 and WMMT4 was shelved after barely 3 years of operation. WMMT5 was released early to test out System ES3 and the expanded features that came with it. The location tests started on October 19th, 2013 and lasted for 20 days until November 8th, 2013. The tests were held at the following locations:
The version of WMMT5 played at these location tests was limited in terms of content and function. Below is a list of things observed during the location test, translated from the WMMT Japanese Wiki.
-200 yen per game. Cannot continue under any circumstances.
-In accordance with the yellow theme of WMMT5, The LED lights in the signage and cabinet housing and seats are yellow by default..
-If you use a current Banapass, the car you choose is full tuned, C4 rank with no dress up. If no Banapass is used, the car is stock.
– Story mode, ghost mode, and time attack are all playable. If no Banapass is used, ghost battle is unavailable.
-Existing cars have been rebalanced
–Improvement in load times (loading screen for VS battle ends in about 3 seconds)
The most important thing here is bolded. The better loading times seen in the WMMT5 test location demo is a direct result of the System ES3 upgrade being trialled.
Since its a hardware upgrade, its much easier and faster to distribute the upgrades to arcades domestically in Japan, which is why Japan got it first. Bandai Namco had no such luxury when considering the vast international market.
By the end of the location test, we were on WMMT4 version 1.04 which was released on the 24th of October, 2013. The same day, Japan received the final update for WMMT4 which was version 1.10. We recieved the content from this update in update 1.09 on the 25th of June, 2014, but we weren’t officially on 1.10 until the 5th of August, 2014.
The Japanese version of WMMT5 was officially released on the 12th of March, 2014. After a short location test in Hong Kong in September 2014, the International version of WMMT5 was released on the 27th of October, 2014.
This is where the two versions were officially split up. The Japanese version of WMMT5 was running System ES3, and our version of WMMT5 was and still is currently running on System ES1. Because of this major difference in hardware, we were given an alternate version with limited content to satiate the international market for the time being. This is even referenced in the first English WMMT5 Future Lab written by series producer Kazuhiro Maeda:
“New cars and courses have also been added.
But that’s not all!
Some models differ from the Japanese specifications.
This has even managed to surprise Japanese players.
Up until now, the International Versions have always followed the Japanese specifications which means that the updates offered no surprises.
That’s why this time the Japanese and International versions are planned to differ in the order and what appears in each specification.
I hope you’ll check the updates of both the International and Japanese Versions and look forward to what might be coming in future updates.”
This confirms that our version was planned to be different from the Japanese version. In the third Future Lab news post, lead programmer Takeshi Ono references the development of WMMT5 International and Japanese version.
“Hi, everyone. Ono here.
It’s great that Wangan Maximum 5 is finally out.
I’m happy to say that this time we developed both versions simultaneously so fans outside of Japan could get the game as soon as possible. We all worked together so this could happen.”
The bolded and underlined text is the most important. Timing was very important. Bandai Namco had to plan around the roadblocks when it came to distributing new content to the international community so that we weren’t left in the dark with a seemingly outdated version.This is why we were given the Mount Taikan course before the Japanese, and exclusive european cars that they wouldn’t get until the release of 5DX.
The bottom line is that the current hardware differences and the difficulty of servicing the international community basically forced Bandai Namco to makes these changes. We are incredibly lucky as a community for Bandai Namco and the development team to continue bringing us content. The good news? WMMT5DX international version is coming very soon.
This video by Sam P of WMMT North American Community seems to suggest that WMMT5DX is coming to international sometime this year according to a conversation he had with a representative. This flew under the radar for over a month until the images below started popping up on Facebook.
The source of these images is unknown, but the quantity of the update packages seem to suggest a large scale hardware update coming soon. I’ve heard rumours regarding the release date being around June or July 2016, but it’s likely that the update will be staggered and may come out sooner or later depending on your region.
So what exactly is different about WMMT5DX currently? I’ll be writing a separate article to show and explain all the differences currently since this article is massive already. I would like to thank everyone who helped me and continue to help me gather resources and research.
The 6th Online Championship Match has been announced to start on January 15th, and will be played on Hakone Outbound. This is currently only for the International version of the game, so this does not apply to people on the Indonesian version of the game. The times for qualifying period and main draw are listed below.
Qualifier: 15/1/2016 6:00am to the 30/1/2016 11:59pm - Japan Time (GMT+9)
Main Draw: 31/1/2016 6:00am to the 7/2/2016 11:00pm - Japan Time (GMT+9)
During the main draw, the fastest ghost will be updated 3 times a day, and that ghost will become the ghost you race against at the end of the tally period. During the tally, you can't play OCM for 15 minutes. The exact times these tallies happen is below:
|Every day: 11:45am (approx. 15 minutes) - Japan Time (GMT+9)|
|Every day: 5:45pm (approx. 15 minutes) - Japan Time (GMT+9)|
|Every day: 11:45pm (approx. 15 minutes) - Japan Time (GMT+9)|
If you need help converting these times to your specific time zone, use this tool to find out exactly when it starts and ends for your region.
The first OCM of the new year may very well be the most difficult as Hakone Outbound is arguably one of the most difficult courses in the game. The International website was updated with the participation plates you can receive for competing in the qualifier and main draw.
There's some really nice looking participation medals for Hakone OCM, but what about the gold plate for top 100? This is where it gets confusing because we've been mainly comparing the plates you get for each OCM to what the Japanese version had.
But because the International version skipped the Yaesu OCM that Japan got to compete in before Hakone OCM, we actually have no idea what the top 100 plate for our Hakone OCM will be. This leads to a bigger investigation on how WMMT5DX will be implmented in our version, and that article is coming out soon. For now, brush up on Hakone Outbound, this might be your last chance to get a top 100 plate in our current version!
A new North American WMMT5 test location has been discovered in Bloomingdale Illinois! A venue called “Round 1” has recently acquired 4 machines and a terminal similar to the other North American WMMT5 test locations found last week. This is fantastic news for players in the Midwest. The exact address for Round 1 is listed below:
Round 1: 420 Stratford Square Mall
Bloomingdale, IL 60108
Phone Number: (630)894-8440
According to their Facebook page, they are open 365 days, and operate from 10am to 2am. You must also be 18 years or older to enter the venue without a guardian after 10pm, and you must be 21 or older to enter without a guardian after 12am. The fact that it closes late means this would be a prime location for possible future Online Championship Match attempts, as they tend to end late at night.
As far as the machines go, they seem identical to the international cabinets, and are on the latest update. As with the other North American WMMT5 test locations, you are limited to 5 cars, and can only challenge other North American ghosts online for now.
There’s only one photo so far, posted by Mark Hansen; a member of the Round 1 Facebook group. If any more photos pop up of the location I will edit this post later.
If you happen to be in the area or can travel to this location, you absolutely should to support this new WMMT5 test location. As I’ve expressed before in my previous posts, the only way these test locations will be successful and will stay there is if the North American WMMT5 community supports them. Make yourself known to the staff, treat the machines with respect, and play as much as you can.
I would also like to mention that the appearance of these test locations are in no small part due to the cumulative efforts of the North American WMMT Community Facebook page, and the efforts of the owner Sam Porcaro to get Bandai Namco’s attention to the demand for WMMT5 in North America. If you are looking to network with players in North America, this is the place to go.
Hey guys, apologies for the lack of activity on the site. I’ve been really busy doing things for PAX Australia this weekend, which i’m covering as media for another website I work on. After PAX I also got convention flu, so i’ve been out of action with everything for a while now. I’ll pick up the pace in terms of content and upcoming video content soon.
The WMMT5 5th C1 Area 2015 Online Championship Match ended on the 25th of October at 1am (UTC+10) with the winner being Gabe Rc.G of Singapore’s = |TFC| = team driving an R35 Spec V. Singapore took the top 11 spots as well as many other top 100 places.
A special gold plate is awarded to the top 100 cars in the final ranking, the design this time being a gold tiger, which I must say looks pretty awesome. I tried and failed to get a gold plate on my Z31. I would have tried higher tier cars but I really only wanted a gold plate on the Z31.
C1 is always really hotly contested because it’s a popular course and has been in the game since day one, so although I was making it harder on myself using a lower tier car, I doubt that I would’ve got a good enough run in time.
OCM is an interesting beast. Not only do you need to be skillful, but you need to spend time and money to get into top 100. The OCM often ends late at night too, so if you can’t be out at that time, or your arcade closes before OCM ends, then you can miss out based on that. Beyond that, its also a very specific way of playing, where a lot of the strategy is cushioning a ghost at specific points, which is not something that people are generally skilled at.
People who are exceptionally skilled can also enter multiple cars into the top 100. This often creates a market of people buying top 100 spots off a more skilled player by making the more skilled player drive their car and secure them a gold plate. On one hand I don’t blame highly skilled players for monetising their skills that they have dedicated a large amount of time into achieving, but on the other hand it makes top 100 more of a buy in thing then an actual achievement.
I enjoy OCM because it’s as close to a world championship as we get currently. I don’t think it’s a perfect system, but its better than nothing. My advice to people wanting to do well in OCM is as follows:
1. Practice the course: During the qualifers, use that time to practice on the course in time attack. The more proficient you are in general at the course, the better you can extend your lead.
2. Set a budget: MT is a very expensive game even without OCM. If you aren’t careful, you can find yourself spending a lot more money then what you expected. This C1 OCM was a great example because in the first 30 seconds of the run, if you didn’t cushion the ghost properly, your run was essentially over, meaning that every time you messed that first part up, that was another continue. Set a realistic budget and don’t go over it. Save most of the money you are willing to spend for the last two days of OCM. Because the ghost updates, you want to be spending money and doing well on the second last and last day.
3. Watch others play in your arcade: More than likely you won’t be the only person trying OCM in your arcade. Watch them play a couple of games and try and download as much information as possible regarding the ghost’s behaviour. Especially if it’s the last ghost update. The more you know going in about the ghost, the less likely you are to spend money trying strategies that don’t actually work. Normally in OCM there’s a fairly specific way of beating the final ghost, so the sooner you figure that out, the less money you spend, and the more likely you are to beat the ghost.
That’s pretty much it. Hope that helps people improve their OCM. Will be interesting to see which OCM is next seeing that they skipped Yaesu OCM. We’ll have to wait and see with the coming updates heading towards the holiday season. Thanks for reading!
Played by IGOR (MVi Team). A great run once again by IGOR of MVi Team. How are you faring so far in the qualifier?
*Edit* Accidently put 1033 instead of 1003m, my apologies.
It turns out that the Toyota 86 GT has amazing potential. This run was performed by none other than IGOR; Australian time attack hero, in a short one hour session with the 86. I included his best splits for the session at the end of the video, as well as below.
Japan’s record with the 86 on Hakone Inbound is 2:25.804, so he’s not far off!
I had a discussion with fellow MT.org contributer Mikey from the fkNSRS channel about the pros and cons of the newest cars in international version; the Subaru BRZ and the Toyota 86.
And then we ramble on a little about the metagame of WMMT as it currently stands, and what we’d like to see in future updates.
Apologies for the audio quality, it’s a recorded Skype call and sometimes the audio goes weird for a second.
If you enjoyed this video, consider giving it a thumbs up, as it really helps us out.
A new WMMT5 international update has been announced today on the official English website, slated to be released on the 17th of September, 2015.
The update adds the Fukuoka Urban Expressway extreme course, as well as the Subaru BRZ, and the Toyota FT-86.
Fukuoka in reverse is sure to be really interesting. It’s essentially a circuit like Osaka or Nagoya, but the undulating corners and huge elevation differences is sure to make for a lot of kill spot opportunities and possibly jumps. Horsepower settings will probably be the same, although there may be more uphill sections requiring a slightly higher setting.
Maximum Speed: 350km/h
If the BRZ and the FT-86 are the same as they are in the Japanese version, expect a couple of differences between the two. They are both the same size wise, they both have a top speed of 350km/h, which is above average, and they both have 6 gears. The FT-86 is slidey, but has better boost recovery, while the BRZ is more grippy, but has less boost recovery. Similar to the differences between the EVO 8 and 9.
While this is a cool update, many have lamented the fact that the BRZ and the FT-86 do not have dress up parts, while the Japanese version does. It’s slightly disappointing, especially since it’s a car that we know has full dress up on the Japanese version.
My theory is that the choice of cars for this update is in response to the demand (and popularity) for the BRZ and FT-86, while adding a new extreme course, which Japan already has. With 5DX on the way for the Japanese version, giving them the rest of the cars and content that was exclusive to the international version, I imagine that we’ll get a DX update that will add dress up to the BRZ and FT-86 as well as the Japanese content that the international version is missing, like C2 and the Maxi G system.
Keep in mind that the development team for the international version (and even the Japanese version) is actually quite small, and deploying content worldwide takes time. Deploying content to a single country is much easier, especially since its the country of origin.
Back in the days of WMMT3, you had to wait for a major update to get anything new because the machines weren’t connected to the internet, and it was harder and took longer to deploy software to arcades. Sure you got small revisions for bug fixes and stuff, but now the revisions have the opportunity to add small bits of content like this one.
So I say to those who are disappointed with the lack of dress up on the BRZ and FT-86; be patient. The 3DX+ international version was in parity to the Japanese version, minus the Gemballa Porsches for licencing reasons, and the same will happen with WMMT5. Thanks for reading!
SOARS team recently put out a video showing a peculiar bug with the Mercedes Benz 190E EVO II. It’s been known about for a while, but not many people have talked about it, so I thought I would do a quick post with relevant information to supplement their video.
Basically, it has to do with a clipping hitbox on the back quarter panels of the Mercedes 190E, causing the other vehicle to be instantly pushed back. If you want to test this yourself, it’s the easiest to reproduce in story mode with computer controlled cars.
In my testing, I found that rubbing while keeping the wheel straight is the easiest way to reproduce the bug. Here is a WEBM of my 190E performing the bug on a player vehicle.
Now while it doesn’t look like much, it definitely gives the 190E a very unfair priority in the battle neutral game, where the battle strength of each car can be a deciding factor to winning the neutral game.
The weird interactions with traffic and player cars can also cause the 190E to randomly teleport to the other side of the road. I unfortunately have no footage to prove it, since I’ve only seen it happen twice, but I have several eyewitnesses that will back up my claim. My best guess is that the glitching hitbox causes a desync in local battles in regards to true car position of player cars and ghosts.
The 190E is already a very strong battle car (review coming soon), but I think with MT5DX on the horizon for Japan, I’d imagine that the bug will get patched out very soon, since Japan will also be getting the 190E. While exploiting the glitch can be fun, I think its fair to patch it out to preserve the balance of the game.