Soulcalibur VI General Roster Speculation Thread

SoulCalibur VI: which 3 characters do you most hope for?

  • A brand new character

  • Amy

  • Cassandra

  • Hilde

  • Hwang/Yunsung and/or Lizardman

  • Rock

  • Setsuka

  • Viola

  • Z.W.E.I.

  • Other: Abyss, Algol, Dampierre, Elysium, Leixia, Li Long, Patroklos, etc.


Results are only viewable after voting.

RagingGhost

[10] Knight
@RagingGhost
Dismissing Cassandra, Lizardman, Amy or Rock on the basis of similarity would make more sense. Popularity is the only thing stopping Algol and i'll admit it means his chances look very low unless we'll get a third season. Especially if season 1 is guests.
Depends on Aeon's case. I mean, he could get some elements of his incarnations from SC3, 4 and 5 to differentiate him further from Sophitia. Sure, he started with a sword and shield, but he could always have his axe weapons as alternates.
 

Rusted Blade

[08] Mercenary
Let's examine this question analytically, starting with the question of returning characters, which are surely most likely to take the majority of remaining spots, regardless of the ultimate number of seasons. I can see three obvious primary factors that would argue for or against any of the "usual suspect" candidates, each of which has been noted previously in this thread:

1) The character's place in the Soul Calibur chronology and narrative continuity. This is probably likely to be the single most determinative factor, given the manner in which this game has been positioned as a soft reboot. It's true that, through both direct interviews and what we have now experienced of the game, the creators have made it clear that they are willing to retcon certain aspects of the story--and to be perfectly honest, as someone who has played the games of this franchise for more than two decades, I would say consistency of narrative between entries has never exactly been strict. That said, it's pretty clear that the devs have (in their character selections and plot elements presented so far) focused heavily on the earlier story arcs. Characters introduced in the earlier games (Soul Edge/Soul Blade and Soul Calibur I, II, and III) are probably much more likely to be represented than are those from later games (SCIV/BD and SCV).

Notably, there are no characters introduced in SCI or SCIII which are not yet in SCVI, with the exception of Setsuka and IIIs "bonus style" characters. I think we can probably all agree that the SCIII bonus characters are unlikely candidates, with the exception of the three characters who were made full styles in SCIII: Arcade Edition (Hwang, Li Long, and Amy) each of whom also featured as a "regular" character in either a previous or later game in the franchise (and each of whom existed in the lore before SCIII), unlike the other SCIII bonus characters. Add to this list Cassandra, Lizardman, Rock, and Yun-Seong, and we have a list of all main roster characters from Soul Edge through Soul Calibur III who have not yet been rostered in SCVI--provided we exclude mimic characters, non-playable bosses, and Seong Han-myeong. Well, technically there is also Necrid, but the licensing issues make him an unlikely pick, even aside from the fact that he was never particularly well-embraced by SC fans.

Characters introduced in Soul Calibur IV are clearly a possibility as well, per devs leaving that door open in interviews, but I think we can agree that these characters are at least substantially less likely. With the exception of the four SC IV/Broken Destiny guest characters, and the various bonus characters of that game (who, unlike the SCIII bonus characters didn't even have unique fighting styles but were pure re-skins of established characters already present themselves in that game), there were only three characters introduced in SCIV and Broken Destiny: Algol, Dampierre, and Hilde. It is probably highly unlikely that we will be seeing any of the SCV edgelord (pun totally intentional) additions and, personally, I am quite happy with that state of affairs. For the record though, those characters (again, excepting mimics) would be: Aeon (as a distinct style from the earlier Lizardman moveset), Leixia, Natsu, Patrokolos (and the Alpha Patrokolos style variant), Pyrrha (and Pyrrha Omega), Xiba, and ZWEI.

Previous guest characters have never returned before in a Soul Calibur game, but given the emphasis the devs are placing on cross promotion of guest characters and the recent retcon of God of War, I wouldn't entirely rule out the possibility of seeing an updated Kratos, particularly as he has never featured in a full console version anyway. The other eight guest characters/styles (Heihachi, Link, Spawn, the Apprentice, Darth Vader, Yoda, Ezio Auditore, and Devil Jin) are highly improbable repeats, but you have to wonder if Kazuya isn't a possibility for a new Tekken guest, if only to bridge the three generations of Mishima fathers/sons.


2) Uniqueness of the fighting style. Characters who do not fit into a niche that is well represented by another character already in SCVI are probably more likely to be included as DLC than are those who have a similar fighting style/moveset to such characters who are already in the roster. It is obviously difficult to qualify how "similar" characters are in this respect, beyond generalizations. But, for example, I think we can all agree that Hwang and Yun-Seong would be unlikely to feature in the same season pass, given their strong similarities in both presentation and fighting form, whereas someone like Hilde, who does not have a strong analog, would probably get a leg up in her chances from this consideration.


3) Popularity. I honestly think this is likely to be the weakest of the "big three" factors, by far. Obviously Namco/Team Soul had an objective with conducting their popularity poll, but I suspect it had more to do with maintaining hype/preparing promotion than with being certain that they picked the most popular characters. For one, it will not have escaped the notice of the development team that the numbers of people who participated in that poll are infinitesimally small compared to the market share ambitions for any game of a substantial budget that is going to stand a remote chance of winning back its production cost, nevermind being highly profitable. For another, I just think the devs have bigger concerns (balance, licensing, even their own personal impressions about the best fit) that are likely to override the populairty poll and other forms of social media feedback in general. That said, I wouldn't toss this factor out entirely: there's a big difference between, say, Setsuka's popularity and Danpierre's


Lastly, there are any number of additional factors which may make the case stronger or weaker for particular characters: whether said character features prominently in the single player narratives, whether there are well developed art assets already represented in the game, or (in Lizardman/Aeon's case) the fact that the style has already been partially worked out.

Keeping all of these factors in mind, let's look at the case for what I believe are the top nine contenders, and then some leftovers, roughly in descending order of likelihood:


Amy:

Continuity (strong): Amy has featured more prominently than any other as yet unplayable character across the two story modes of SCVI. Her role as a background character was also well established in SCII and she was introduced as a playable character in SCIII/SCIII:AE, so she falls very much within the timeframe of events covered by SCVI, if obviously more towards the tail end.

Uniqueness (moderate): Amy is obviously superficially similar to Raphael in terms of fighting style, but anyone who has mained either of them will tell you that they actually play remarkably differently. In any event, there is only one rapier-wielder/western duelist character in VI so far, and two would not be altogether out of sorts.

Popularity (strong): Amy remains an exceptionally popular character whose absence was possibly the single biggest complaint about SCV's roster after Talim (regardless of whether or not Amy and Viola are, as a narrative matter, the same person or not; incidentally, I hate to burst the bubble of anyone hoping for Viola over Amy, but I'd say that's a virtual impossibility, per numerous of the factors explored above).


Hwang:

Continuity (strong): Hwang is a SB/SE character and thus one of the earliest characters of the franchise not yet included in SCVI. He is featured/referenced in both of SCVI's story modes. In general, he has that "classic faces of the series" vibe that is emphasized in VI. Notably, he also has a habit of edging his way into games through the back door: he is reskinned as "assassin" in SCII and he is a bonus character in SCIII.

Uniqueness (strong): This analysis would of course change if Yun-Seong were included first, but as is, there are no dao wielders in SCVI thus far. At one point Xiangua's style was quite similar to Hwang's, but the two styles diverged a long time ago and are quite distinct at this point (taking Hwang as he last appeared in SCIII:AE).

Popularity (moderate): If there's any reason Hwang may lose out to Yun-seong, it's this: Yun-seong, although a mid-tier character at best, has always had a loyal fan base, whereas Hwang (whom I personally prefer of the two) is rarely bemoaned when he is absent from a game. Regardless, the dao characters have been absent for a while and I judge one of them virtually certain to appear in the first (hopefully not only) season pass, and I give Hwang the edge.


Lizardman/Aeon:

Continuity (strong): Lizardman (or lizardmen, or Aeon, or whatever permutation) has been present in some form in every game in the franchise since Soul Calibur I. His analogs are present in the story modes of VI already, and there is already at least a partial build of a moveset for that purpose. I suspect that he has been planned for inclusion from the start but that the development team have struggled with discovering the ideal way to introduce him.

Uniqueness (moderate or strong): This obviously depends a bit on what the new build would look like, but it seems from what we've seen in the single player that it would be something of an amalgam of classic (SCI-SCIV) lizardman and SCV Aeon, minus the bizzare magical features. This increases the odds over a pure classic approach, which would introduce a second sword and shield character (or a third, if Cassandra should be included).

Popularity (moderate): Lizardman is not a top-tier character demanding the adulation of a huge legion of fans who have mained him. But this has not stopped his being included in every main sequence game in the series for nearly two decades, and he does have his advocates. Honestly, he may be the most obvious absence from the roster at this point, with respect to making the game representative of "classic" Soul Calibur.


Cassandra:

Continuity (strong): Cassandra was introduced in SCII and featured prominently in SCIII/AE and SCIV/BD. She plays notable roles in the single player narratives, particularly Sophitia's Soul Chronicles story.

Uniqueness (moderate): Cassandra has her own vibe, but there's no denying that she fits in the same basic niche as Sophitia, with a close overlap in range, speed and other aspects of her mechanics. Still, she would make only be the second sword and shield character in the game, where historically these styles have been very strongly represented.

Popularity (strong): Cassie is the single highest character in the popularity poll who has not yet been added to SCVI, and this is one area where I am sure it is more or less accurate--if anything, I'd say her popularity as a fan favorite may be even higher than where she landed on that list. Her absence from V (and VI thus far) has been highly noted and commented upon.


Yun-Seong:

Continuity (strong to moderate): Yun-seong entered the franchise relatively early (in SCII) and was a staple until SCV. He is featured or referenced in both SCVI story modes, and he has strong connection to a number of main characters.

Uniqueness (strong): Presuming Hwang is not added to the roster first, Yun-seong would be the only dao wielder.

Popularity (strong to moderate): Yun-seong is a little bit of a fan favorite with a dedicated following in SCII-SCIV. It's pretty difficult to discern whether he would be more likely than Hwang, but I'd wager at least one of them is a certainty.


Hilde:

Continuity (moderate to low): Hilde was introduced in SCIV and has not had a representation in SCVI's story mode thus far. However Wolkfrone and other story elements connected to her did feature in both single-player modes. Somehow she does indeed feel like she would fit easily enough into the roster of VI; at a minimum I judge her much more likely than Algol or Dampierre.

Uniqueness (strong): Hilde has a distinctive style that isn't particularly like anyone else in the franchise.

Popularity (moderate to high): Hilde had some pretty loyal devotees in SCIV (where she was often regarded as top-tier, almost to the point of being broken) and V. She comes in just before the half-way point of the popularity poll.


Setsuka:

Continuity (moderate to low): Setsuka was only introduced in SCIII, but this is also true of Tira and Zasalamel, who both feature in SCVI already. However, there is very little in the way of lore anchoring her into the game (in any mode) so far.

Uniqueness (strong): Setsuka has a play style that was only ever partially replicated by Alpha Patrokolos. She would definetly have a sharp contrast and distincive flow when compared against the rest of the roster.

Popularity (moderate to high): Setsuka was always very techy and took a high degree of dedication to learn, but she is another character with a very dedicated population of players who mained her between the two games she previously featured in.


Li Long:

Continuity (moderate): Li Long is a SB/SE original who managed to just eek into SCIII as a bonus character. However, he is present in the Libra of Soul story mode in SCVI and definetly exemplifies the old school SC vibe.

Uniqueness (moderate to low): Li Long doesn't just look quite a bit like Maxi, he plays very similarly too. That said, they are the only two nunchuku characters in the franchise, so this similarity does not entirely preclude him.

Popularity (moderate to low): Maxi's greater consistency of inclusion since SCI has led to his being the premiere nunchuku style and with so many newer and younger players being wholly unfamiliar with Li Long, the demand for his inclusion is not high.


Rock:

Continuity (moderate to high): Rock is a classic character and was a stalwart of the first five games. However, he is all but completely absent from representation and reference in SCVI thus far

Uniqueness (moderate): SCVI does not have a whole lot of slow and heavy hitters as yet (others may correct me with a detailed frame analysis, but I believe Nightmare and Sigfried haven't been this fast, relative to to the general speed of the game they are in, since SCIII, if ever, and 2B is looking faster, closer to Mitsu or Geralt), so in that sense, Rock would help round-out the roster some. On the other hand, some of his moves/niche have been very obviously migrated into Astaroth in recent games, and even before this the two had been viewed as largely redundant on one-another.

Popularity (moderate to low): Rock is widely regarded as being a low-tier character in the last two entries he featured in and his popularity sank relative to that of Astaroth, who always had a more eye-catching style anyway. Not many people are clamoring to see Rock return, but frankly I think the big guy is very iconic of the early days of the franchise and I'd personally be happy to see him back.


Algol:

Continuity (moderate to low): Algol was introduced in SCIV and although he functioned as the boss and was at the center of the narrative for that game (such as it is) he nevertheless had a bit of a tacked-on feeling to him. Nevertheless, the "Hero King" is mentioned repeatedly in SCVI's single player narratives, with a number of repeated references in Zasalamel's summary of the Soul Calibur backstory--almost in a way that seems to be prepping Algol for introduction, though arguably for a follow up game rather than DLC.

Uniqueness (moderate to low): Algol obviously is redundant (in visual style anyway) on Azwel, a character just introduced in SCVI: they both use weapons which are said to be powered by the essences of Soul Calibur and Soul Edge, and which spring into existence at will, taking various shapes. The similarities are arguably superficial and there are substantial differences in the practicalities of their fighting styles, but even the surface-level similarities could be strong enough to ground Algol's inclusion.

Popularity (moderate to low): Algol never really connected with a substantial portion of the community and is largely viewed as gimmicky, despite having a mid-to-high tier playability in the last two games. I think we can safely assume fans would be less nonplussed by his being omitted than just about anybody else on this list.


Dampierre:

Continuity (low): Dampierre was introduced as a new character in Broken Destiny and featured as pay-for DLC in SCV. He's not particularly crucial to any plotlines (certainly not early ones) and he hasn't been featured or mentioned in SCVIs story modes to date.

Uniqueness (moderate to strong): One thing you can say for Dampierre is that he is not exactly redundant on anybody. There's definetly a bit of Voldo in the DNA of his mechanics, but on the whole Dampierre is definetly...his own thing.

Popularity (low): Dampierre is lower on the popularity poll than any of the other characters listed here (and of all characters in the poll, only mimics, bosses and some SCV new faces rank lower); I would say his place in that poll is accurately indicative of the overall degree to which he was embraced by the community. To some degree, this may be more a reflection of how he was introduced to the series (in the only portable game in the franchise first and then later as paid DLC in SCV when the franchise took a mini nose-dive; none of V's new characters have remained super popular) than it is about anything intrinsically flawed in his style. Sure, he's a bit of an oddball style, but no more so than Voldo certainly. But regardless of the cause, I don't see a petition for his inclusion starting any time soon.


Beyond the returning regular cast, I have a few suspicions on who may potentially feature as a guest characters, should any more be announced. For starters, I really would bet dollars to doughnuts on Kratos; he has the right look and fighting aesthetic for Soul Calibur (which is why he was already adapted once), he's ripe for cross promotion now and his updated GoW story, moves, and look all justify repeating him, with a substantially updated moveset. I'm tempted to say with the Final Fantasy VII remake on the horizon, Cloud could be an option, but I bet his licensing is tied up by Smash Bros. for at least this generation. I think Noctis would have been an awesome choice as well (and I think Azwel is the result of developer's remorse on the part of Team Soul after Namco wasted such a great asset on Tekken, where he doesn't fit in remotely as well) but I doubt they are going to leverage the same guest character for both franchises. That's a pity though, since it would have also made Algol a less awkward addition, had Noctis been included instead of Azwel.

Ryu Hyabusa of Dead or Alive/Ninja Gaiden fame (or maybe an ancient same-clan analog, similar to how Yoshimitsu's dual-franchise situation is explained) has always been a cross-over I'd like to see, but I don't know that I've ever heard of a Namco/Tecmo cross-promotion or joint effort of any sort, so that's probably out. While we're on the subject of things I think would fit in well with this entry but will never happen, I never understood why Gabriel Bellmont and/or Alucard were not tapped for V, but the Lords of Shadow sub-franchise is so past the height of its (kinda limited) popularity that I don't see it happening now. I actually never played those games beyond some demos, but the aesthetic similarity and move potential is immediately striking to me. In a similar "the moment has probably passed" analysis, I think if SCVI had come out a little earlier or Horizon: Zero Dawn a little later, we might be seeing Aloy instead of 2B. If we should see a surprise reveal of H:ZD2 in 2019 though, I wouldn't rule her out as an entry, given the cross-promotion potential.


Just to cover everyone remaining: I don't see any reason why other mimics aside from Inferno cannot be added to the roster: Charade, Edge Master, and Olcadan being the obvious choices. It would be cool if these skins shared a button with Inferno and were just added to the pulldown menu that usually is utilized for colors on the select screen, as an update gimme; it would take trivial resources for Team Soul to create these skins and add them as default. I'm sure it goes without saying that there would be a furor if any mimic were added as part of a season pass unless that pass already had the number of characters established in the first season (four) or more. I wonder if Night Terror or Abyss may feature in a story mode at some point as well, but that seems like more development effort than is likely to be devoted for a feature that will not be a strong selling point to the multiplayer crowd who are going to be the only ones buying and advocating for this game in a year's time; I suspect they may be more likely as a SCVII feature.


That's the situation as I see it in a nutshell. I'm pretty confident that the remainder of the current season pass will come from the top six characters in the list above, presuming there are no new original characters or new guest characters (also probably a safe bet).
 
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AMillionHP

[13] Hero
Let's examine this question analytically, starting with the question of returning characters, which are surely most likely to take the majority of remaining spots, regardless of the ultimate number of seasons. I can see three obvious primary factors that would argue for or against any of the "usual suspect" candidates, each of which has been noted previously in this thread:

1) The character's place in the Soul Calibur chronology and narrative continuity. This is probably likely to be the single most determinative factor, given the manner in which this game has been positioned as a soft reboot. It's true that, through both direct interviews and what we have now experienced of the game, the creators have made it clear that they are willing to retcon certain aspects of the story--and to be perfectly honest, as someone who has played the games of this franchise for more than two decades, I would say consistency of narrative between entries has never exactly been strict. That said, it's pretty clear that the devs have (in their character selections and plot elements presented so far) focused heavily on the earlier story arcs. Characters introduced in the earlier games (soul Edge and Soul Calibur I, II, and III) are probably much more likely to be represented than are those from later games (SCIV/BD and SCV).

Notably, there are no characters introduced in SCI or SCIII which are not yet in SCVI, with the exception of IIIs "bonus style" characters. I think we can probably all agree that the SCIII bonus characters are unlikely candidates, with the exception of the three characters who were made full styles in SCIII: Arcade Edition (Hwang, Li Long, and Amy) each of whom also featured as a "regular" character in either a previous or later game in the franchise (and each of whom existed in the lore before SCIII), unlike the other SCIII bonus characters. Add to this list Cassandra, Lizardman, Rock, Setsuka, and Yun-Seong, and we have a list of all main roster characters from Soul Edge through Soul Calibur III who have not yet been rostered--provided we exclude mimic characters, non-playable bosses, and Seong Han-myeong. Well, technically there is also Necrid, but the licensing issues make him an unlikely pick, even aside from the fact that he was never particularly well-embraced by SC fans.

Characters introduced in Soul Calibur IV are clearly a possibility as well, per devs leaving that door open in interviews, but I think we can agree that these characters are at least substantially less likely. With the exception of the four SC IV/Broken Destiny guest characters, and the various bonus characters of that game (who, unlike the SCIII bonus characters didn't even have unique fighting styles but were pure re-skins of established characters already present themselves in that game), there were only three characters introduced in SCIV and Broken Destiny: Algol, Dampierre, and Hilde. It is probably highly unlikely that we will be seeing any of the SCV edgelord (pun totally intentional) additions and, personally, I am quite happy with that state of affairs. For the record though, those characters (again, excepting mimics) would be: Aeon (as a distinct style from the earlier Lizardman moveset), Leixia, Natsu, Patrokolos (and the Alpha Patrokolos style variant), Pyrrha (and Pyrrha Omega), Xiba, and ZWEI.

Previous guest characters have never returned before in a Sou Calibur game, but given the emphasis the devs are placing on cross promotion of guest characters and the recent retcon of God of War, I wouldn't entirely rule out the possibility of seeing an updated Kratos, particularly as he has never featured in a full console version anyway. The other eight guest characters/styles (Heihachi, Link, Spawn, the Apprentice, Darth Vader, Yoda, Ezio Auditore, and Devil Jin) are highly improbable repeats, but you have to wonder if Kazuya isn't a possibility for a new Tekken guest, if only to fill out the three generations of Mishima fathers/sons.


2) Uniqueness of the fighting style. Characters who do not fit into a niche that is well represented by another character already in SCVI are probably more likely to be included as DLC than are those who have a similar fighting style/moveset to such characters who are already in the roster. It is obviously difficult to qualify how "similar" characters are in this respect, beyond generalizations. But, for example, I think we can all agree that Hwang and Yun-Seong would be unlikely to feature in the same season pass, given their strong similarities in both presentation and fighting form, whereas someone like Hilde, who does not have a strong analog, would probably get a leg up in her chances from this consideration.


3) Popularity. I honestly think this is likely to be the weakest of the "big three" factors, by far. Obviously Namco/Team Soul had an objective with conducting their popularity poll, but I suspect it had more to do with maintaining hype/preparing promotion than with being certain that they picked the most popular characters. For one, it will not have escaped the notice of the development team that the numbers who participated in that poll are infinitesimally small compared to the market share ambitions for any game that is going to stand a remote chance of winning back its production cost, nevermind being highly profitable. For another, I just think the devs have bigger concerns (balance, licensing, even their own personal impressions about the best fit) that are likely to override the populairty poll and other forms of social media feedback in general. That said, I wouldn't toss this factor out entirely: there's a big difference between, say Setsuka popularity and Danpierre's


Lastly, there are any number of additional factors which may make the case stronger or weaker for particular characters: whether said character features prominently in the single player narratives, whether there are well developed art assets already represented in the game, or (in Lizardman/Aeon's case) the fact that the style has already been partially worked out.

Keeping all of these factors in mind, let's look at the case for what I believe are the top nine contenders, and then some leftovers, roughly in descending order of likelihood:


Amy:

Continuity (strong): Amy has featured more prominently than any other as yet unplayable character across the two story modes of SCVI. Her role as a background character was also well established in SCII and she was introduced as a playable character in SCIII/SCIII:AE, so she falls very much within the timeframe of events covered by SCVI, if obviously more towards the tail end.

Uniqueness (moderate): Amy is obviously superficially similar to Raphael in terms of fighting style, but anyone who has mained either of them will tell you that they actually play remarkably differently. In any event, there is only one rapier-wielder/western duelist character in VI so far, and two would not be altogether unexpected.

Popularity (strong): Amy remains an exceptionally popular character whose absence was possibly the single biggest complaint about SCV's roster after Talim (regardless of whether or not Amy and Viola are, as a narrative matter, the same person or not; incidentally, I hate to burst the bubble of anyone hoping for Viola over Amy, but I'd say that's a virtual impossibility, per numerous of the factors explored above).


Hwang:

Continuity (strong): Hwang is a SB/SE character and thus one of the earliest characters of the franchise not yet included in SCVI. He is featured/referenced in both of SCVI's story modes. In general, he has that "classic faces of the series" vibe that is emphasized in VI. Notably, he also has a habit of edging his way into games through the back door: he is reskinned as "assassin" in SCII and he is a bonus character in SCIII.

Uniqueness (strong): This analysis would of course change if Yun-Seong were included first, but as is, there are no dao wielders in SCVI thus far. At one point Xiangua's style was quite similar to Hwang's, but the two styles diverged a long time ago and are quite distinct at this point (taking Hwang as he last appeared in SCIII:AE).

Popularity (moderate): If there's any reason Hwang may lose out to Yun-seong, it's this: Yun-seong, although a mid-tier character at best, has always had a loyal fan base, whereas Hwang (whom I personally prefer of the two) is rarely bemoaned when he is absent from a game. Regardless, the dao characters have been absent for a while and I judge one of them virtually certain to appear in the first (hopefully not only) season pass, and I give Hwang the edge.


Lizardman/Aeon:

Continuity (strong): Lizardman (or lizardmen, or Aeon, or whatever permutation) has been present in some form in every game in the franchise since Soul Calibur I. His analogs are present in the story modes of VI already, and there is already at least a partial build of a moveset for that purpose. I suspect that he has been planned for inclusion from the start but that the development team have struggled with discovering the ideal way to introduce him.

Uniqueness (moderate or strong): This obviously depends a bit on what the new build would look like, but it seems from what we've seen in the single player that it would be something of an amalgam of classic (SCI-SCIV) lizardman and SCV Aeon, minus the bizzare magical features. This increases the odds over a pure classic approach, which would introduce a second sword and shield character (or a third, if Cassandra should be included).

Popularity (moderate): Lizardman is not a top-tier character demanding the adulation of a huge legion of fans who have mained him. But this has not stopped his being included in every main sequence game in the series for nearly two decades, and he does have his advocates. Honestly, he may be the most obvious absence from the roster at this point, with respect to making the game representative of "classic" Soul Calibur.


Cassandra:

Continuity (strong): Cassandra was introduced in SCII and featured prominently in SCIII/AE and SCIV/BD. She plays notable roles in the single player narratives, particularly Sophitia's Soul Chronicles story.

Uniqueness (moderate): Cassandra has her own vibe, but there's no denying that she fits in the same basic niche as Sophitia, with a close overlap in range, speed and other aspects of her mechanics. Still, she would make only be the second sword and shield character in the game, where historically these styles have been very strongly represented.

Popularity (strong): Cassie is the single highest character in the popularity poll who has not yet been added to SCVI, and this is one area where I am sure it is more or less accurate--if anything, I'd say her popularity as a fan favorite may be even higher than where she landed on that list. Her absence from V (and VI thus far) has been highly noted and commented upon.


Yun-Seong:

Continuity (strong to moderate): Yun-seong entered the franchise relatively early (in SCII) and was a staple until SCV. He is featured or referenced in both SCVI story modes, and he has strong connection to a number of main characters.

Uniqueness (strong): Presuming Hwang is not added to the roster first, Yun-seong would be the only dao wielder.

Popularity (strong to moderate): Yun-seong is a little bit of a fan favorite with a dedicated following in SCII-SCIV. It's pretty difficult to discern whether he would be more likely than Hwang, but I'd wager at least one of them is a certainty.


Hilde:

Continuity (moderate to low): Hilde was introduced in SCIV and has not had a representation in SCVI's story mode thus far. However Wolkfrone and other story elements connected to her did feature in both single-player modes. Somehow she does indeed feel like she would fit easily enough into the roster of VI; at a minimum I judge her much more likely than Algol or Dampierre.

Uniqueness (strong): Hilde has a distinctive style that isn't particularly like anyone else in the franchise.

Popularity (moderate to high): Hilde had some pretty loyal devotees in SCIV (where she was often regarded as top-tier, almost to the point of being broken) and V. She comes in just before the half-way point of the popularity poll.


Setsuka:

Continuity (moderate to low): Setsuka was only introduced in SCIII, but this is also true of Tira and Zasalamel, who both feature in SCVI already. However, there is very little in the way of lore anchoring her into the game (in any mode) so far.

Uniqueness (strong): Setsuka has a play style that was only ever partially replicated by Alpha Patrokolos. She would definetly have a sharp contrast and distincive flow when compared against the rest of the roster.

Popularity (moderate to high): Setsuka was always very techy and took a high degree of dedication to learn, but she is another character with a very dedicated population of players who mained her between the two games she previously featured in.


Li Long:

Continuity (moderate): Li Long is a SB/SE original who managed to just eek into SCIII as a bonus character. However, he is present in the Libra of Soul story mode in SCVI and definetly exemplifies the old school SC vibe.

Uniqueness (moderate to low): Li Long doesn't just look quite a bit like Maxi, he plays very similarly too. that said, they are the only to nunchuku characters in the franchise, so this similarity does not entirely preclude him.

Popularity (moderate to low): Maxi's greater consistency of inclusion since SCI has led to his being the premiere nunchuku style and with so many newer and younger players being wholly unfamiliar with Li Long, the demand for his inclusion is not high.


Rock:

Continuity (moderate to high): Rock is a classic character and was a stalwart of the first five games. However, he is all but completely absent from representation and reference in SCVI.

Uniqueness (moderate): SCVI does not have a whole lot of slow and heavy hitters as yet (others may correct be with a detailed fram analysis, but I believe Nightmare and Sigfried haven't been this fast, relative to to the general speed of the game they are in, since SCIII, if ever, and I bet 2B ends up as fast or faster), so in that sense, Rock would help round-out the roster some. On the other hand, some of his moves/niche have been very obviously migrated into Astaroth in recent games, and even before this the two have been viewed as largely redundant on one-another.

Popularity (moderate to low): Rock is widely regarded as being a low-tier character in the last two entries he featured in and his popularity sank relative to that of Astaroth, who always had a more eye-catching style anyway. Not many people are clamoring to see Rock return, but frankly I think the big guy is very iconic of the early days of the franchise and I'd personally be happy to see him back.


Algol:

Continuity (moderate to low): Algol was introduced in SCIV and although he functioned as the boss and was at the center of the narrative for that game (such as it is) he nevertheless had a bit of a tacked-on feeling to him. Nevertheless, the "Hero King" is mentioned repeatedly in SCVI's single player narratives, with a number of repeated references in Zasalamel's summary of the Soul Calibur backstory--almost in a way that seems to be prepping Algol for introduction, though arguably for a follow up game rather than DLC.

Uniqueness (moderate to low): Algol obviously is redundant (in visual style anyway) on Azwel, a character just introduced in SCVI: they both use weapons which are said to be powered by the essences of Soul Calibur and Soul Edge, and which spring into existence at will, taking various shapes. The similarities are arguably superficial and there are substantial differences in the practicalities of their fighting styles, but even the surface-level similarities could be strong enough to ground Algol's inclusion.

Popularity (moderate to low): Algol never really connected with a substantial portion of the community and is largely viewed as gimmicky, despite having a mid-tier playability. I think we can safely assume fans would less nonplussed by his being ommited than just about anybody else on this list.


Dampierre:

Continuity (low): Dampierre was introduced as a new character in Broken Destiny and featured as pay-for DLC in SCV. He's not particularly crucial to any plotlines (certainly not early ones) and he hasn't been featured or mentioned in SCVIs story modes to date.

Uniqueness (moderate to strong): One thing you can say for Dampierre is that he is not exactly redundant on anybody. There's definetly a bit of Voldo in the DNA of his mechanics, but on the whole Dampierre is definetly...his own thing.

Popularity (low): Dampierre is lower on the popularity poll than any of the other characters listed here (and of all characters in the poll, only mimics, bosses and some SCV new faces rank lower); I would say his place in that poll is accurately indicative of the overall degree to which he was embraced by the community. To some degree, this may be more a reflection of how he was introduced to the series (in the only portable game in the franchise first and then later as paid DLC in SCV when the franchise took a mini nose-dive; none of V's new characters have remained super popular) than it is about anything intrinsically flawed in his style. Sure, he's a bit of an oddball style, but no more so than Voldo certainly. But regardless of the cause, I don't see a petition for his inclusion starting any time soon.


Beyond the returning regular cast, I have a few suspicions on who may potentially feature as a guest characters, should any more be announced. For starters, I really would bet dollars to doughnuts on Kratos; he has the right look and fighting aesthetic for Soul Calibur (which is why he was already adapted once), he's ripe for cross promotion now and his updated story, moves, and look all justify repeating him, with a substantially updated moveset. I'm tempted to say with the Final Fantasy VII remake on the horizon, Cloud could be an option, but I bet his licensing is tied up by Smash Bros. for at least this generation. I think Noctis would have been an awesome choice as well (and I think Azwel is the result of developer's remorse on the part of Team Soul after Namco wasted such a great asset on Tekken, where he doesn't fit in remotely as well) but I doubt they are going to leverage the same guest character for both franchises. That's a pity though, since it would have also made Algol a less awkward addition, had Noctis been included instead of Azwel.

Ryu Hyabusa of Dead or Alive/Ninja Gaiden fame (or maybe an ancient same-clan analog, similar to how Yoshimitsu's dual-franchise situation is explained) has always been a cross-over I'd like to see, but I don't know that I've ever heard of a Namco/Tecmo cross-promotion or joint effort of any sort, so that's probably out. While we're on the subject of things I think would fit in well with this entry but will never happen, I never understood why Gabriel Bellmont and/or Alucard were not tapped for V, but the Lords of Shadow sub-franchise is so past the height of its (kinda limited) popularity that I don't see it happening now. I actually never played those games beyond some demos, but the aesthetic similarity and move potential is immediately striking to me. In a similar "the moment has probably passed" analysis, I think if SCVI had come out a little earlier or Horizon: Zero Dawn a little later, we might be seeing Aloy instead of 2B. If we should see a surprise reveal of H:ZD2 in 2019 though, I wouldn't rule her out as an entry, given the cross-promotion potential.


Just to cover everyone remaining: I don't see any reason why other mimics aside from Inferno cannot be added to the roster: Charade, Edge Master, and Olcadan being the obvious choices. It would be cool if these skins shared a button with Inferno and were just added to the pulldown menu that usually is utilized for colors on the select screen, as an update gimme; it would take trivial resources for Team Soul to create these skins and add them as default. I'm sure it goes without saying that there would be a furor if any mimic were added as part of a season pass unless that pass already had the number of characters established in the first season (four) or more. I wonder if Night Terror or Abyss may feature in a story mode at some point as well, but that seems like more development effort than is likely to be devoted for a feature that will not be a strong selling point to the multiplayer crowd who are going to be the only ones buying and advocating for this game in a year's time; I suspect they may be more likely as a SCVII feature.


That's the situation as I see it in a nutshell. I'm pretty confident that the remainder of the current season pass will come the topic six characters in the list above, presuming no new characters or new guest characters (also probably a safe bet).
I still think additional guests are a very strong possibility. Tekken had 2 guests for its first season pass and this sort of thing is very much "the trend" nowadays. If Soulcalibur is the less popular cousin of Tekken like its perceived to be, then it needs all the help it can get and i could definitely see NB wanting to roll out an entire season of guests following that logic. The number of characters is also odd to me, only 2 when there are so many left that people are demanding. What two were selected? Tekken also only had a couple and ignored legacy characters for the first season. Now they are rolling out 6 characters total for season 2, all but one being returning classics. It looks like Soulcalibur is doing the same thing to me.

I would rule Kratos out personally. Not saying i wouldnt like him but i just dont think they'll go with him. New moveset/weapon or not, he has been done and this would have some negative effect on the hype factor a guest character is supposed to generate. I also dont think they'll go with anything console exclusive. He worked for BD because that was strictly PSP.

Ryu Hyabusa isnt a bad pick, he doesnt fit the timeline but then neither does 2B. Although they'd probably go with one of the women instead of him i think like maybe Ayane. She's almost as popular and we are lacking females.

I dont know about FF7 characters. I remember wondering why Tekken didnt go with Tifa instead of Noctis. That to me would have made a lot more sense but then i thought SE has little reason to approve that right now because FF7 characters arent promoting any of their current games. But then of course there is FF7 characters on Smash Brothers so i dont know.

Any of the new Castlevania characters would be a bad call imo. Understand im not bashing those games. They may have been great for all i know but i think its well known and accepted the majority of fans didnt appreciate those changes. It just didnt need to happen. Since the netflix show centers around Castlevania 3, i'd say those classic characters are not a bad pick at all right now. Personally i'd love to see Dracula instead of Alucard or any of the Belmonts.

Since they went with Geese for Tekken, i wouldnt rule out a Samurai Showdown character either. That would make a lot of sense just following decisions already made for Tekken.
 

Rusted Blade

[08] Mercenary
Oh, I agree that more seasons and guest characters are probable. And indeed, a welcome development for this genre generally; with regard to SC in particular, I've been waiting for Namco (and for that matter companies generally with regard to their properties) to catch up to the technology and modern marketplace opportunities for like a decade. I put an insane amount of time into every Soul Calibur entry, relative to more or less all other games that I play, so I feel I get my money's worth and would gladly have paid (particularly with IV) a premium for an ongoing stream of characters, stages, CaS content, and other modes, bonuses, and features. I was actually unaware the extent to which this was going on with Tekken, having mostly checked out of that franchise ten years ago, only to buy the odd game here and there since, but started to become aware of it as I kept up with the development news on SCVI. It's welcome news to me. If six were the number characters to expect for a second season, Namco might as well take my money right now.

I wouldn't mind some classic stages from I-IV (other than the Proving Grounds and the Mint Green Shrine of Evil) being revisited either, or alternative light cycle conditions for existing maps; the stage selection currently feels like one of the most shallow features of the game at launch. Very little of the strong art design that typified the game in its early iterations has survived into the stages here, minus three or four exceptional options. There's also a lot of the legacy CaS content that I'd like to see replicated so that I can start resurrecting some of my classic characters, but that's probably expecting too much. But then there's things that Team Soul could do that would cost them next to nothing in development time, relative to the way it would enhance my love of the game. Team Battle please, including in online player matches? Why did this go away after II? An exhibition theater is dubiously worth the development resources, but I have to say it would get the nostalgia goggles on. Maybe bring back Olcadan to host an auxilary guided training mode as in SCIII?

I hadn't considered the console exclusive handicap with regard to Kratos until you mentioned it, honestly; it does seem to make the possibility at least somewhat unlikely. But Sony still to this day allows console-exclusive IP to be licensed directly to Nintendo, so I wouldn't say it's an absolute barrier. It's worth noting also that Namco has previously responded to this issue by allowing certain characters to feature on only certain platforms. I think there's a trend away from that sort of thing, but there's just a lot of ways Kratos could still end up in the mix, I think. I'll admit though--it's more the aesthetic vibe and knowing how both all of the involved publishers (and devs for that matter) would salivate over the marketing (and gameplay) opportunities here. This is another case where I did not play the source game, but I'm just trying to pick the likely suspects out of the pool of faces I am aware for "vaguely fantasy-ish characters with unique weapons and visually distinctive fighting styles" in the gaming zeitgeist right now. But you're right: the console exclusive factor is far from a non-issue.

Does Ayane have a standard melee weapon? I'm trying to think back to early DoA cinematic/CGI scenes. I keep thinking of those glowing blades she had in Monty Oum's Dead Fantasy videos; were those cannon? I'd die for a brawler; Tekken, DoA, Virtua Fighter, I don't really care, but I've had real fun with Heihachi and Devil Jin in their respective SC games and a new unarmed style would really make a significant little chunk of my CaS army feel less artificial. I have to say your suggestion that Tifa should have appeared in place of Noctis is a pretty excellent concept. Remember that the Final Fantasy 7 remake is around the corner (or, you know, around the corner in SE time, which could mean any point from 2019 to 2035), so depending on how long Tekken 7 maintains the sequence of DLC seasons, who knows? Frankly there are a lot of Final Fantasy characters that would fit like a glove in Soul Calibur's formula (probably a few Kingdom Hearts characters too), but I think if we see any more RPG characters, they are likely to be recent protagonists from other franchises (and for that matter, probably other companies) that have not contributed as yet. I don't have sufficient exposure to that genre (and gaming industry news generally) these days to guess who those would be though.

I think Castlevania characters based on the Netflix show are unlikely, as I don't see Team Soul utilizing a character where they have to create/substantially re-adapt said character's visual style in order to make them work with Soul Calibur's engine; re-developing anime-esque designs to more photo-realistic models would be very different from anyhting they've done before (with the exception of Spawn, where the character had already been adapted into non-animated media and the original creator was directly involved with the process). Note that Negan, for example, is modeled most closely after his TV rather than comic iteration. Although I guess Akuma stands as a bit of a counter-example, now that I look at his trailer.

Of course, like any longtime franchise devotee, I have a list in my head about a hundred characters long of cross-over characters I've considered prime candidates for Caliburfication, but most just have no chance of passing the "eye-catcher" test at this point.
 
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AMillionHP

[13] Hero
Oh, I agree that more seasons and guest characters are probable. And indeed, a welcome development for this genre generally; with regard to SC in particular, I've been waiting for Namco (and for that matter companies generally with regard to their properties) to catch up to the technology and modern marketplace opportunities for like a decade. I put an insane amount of time into every Soul Calibur entry, relative to more or less all other games that I play, so I feel I get my money's worth and would gladly have paid (particularly with IV) a premium for an ongoing stream of characters, stages, CaS content, and other modes, bonuses, and features. I was actually unaware the extent to which this was going on with Tekken, having mostly checked out of that franchise ten years ago, only to buy the odd game here and there since, but started to become aware of it as I kept up with the development news on SCVI. It's welcome news to me. If six were the number characters to expect for a second season, Namco might as well take my money right now.

I wouldn't mind some classic stages from I-IV (other than the Proving Grounds and the Mint Green Shrine of Evil) being revisited either, or alternative light cycle conditions for existing maps; the stage selection currently feels like one of the most shallow features of the game at launch. Very little of the strong art design that typified the game in its early iterations has survived into the stages here, minus three or four exceptional options. There's also a lot of the legacy CaS content that I'd like to see replicated so that I can start resurrecting some of my classic characters, but that's probably expecting too much. But then there's things that Team Soul could do that would cost them next to nothing in development time, relative to the way it would enhance my love of the game. Team Battle please, including in online player matches? Why did this go away after II? An exhibition theater is dubiously worth the development resources, but I have to say it would get the nostalgia goggles on. Maybe bring back Olcadan to host an auxilary guided training mode as in SCIII?

I hadn't considered the console exclusive handicap with regard to Kratos until you mentioned it, honestly; it does seem to make the possibility at least somewhat unlikely. But Sony still to this day allows console-exclusive IP to be licensed directly to Nintendo, so I wouldn't say it's an absolute barrier. It's worth noting also that Namco has previously responded to this issue by allowing certain characters to feature on only certain platforms. I think there's a trend away from that sort of thing, but there's just a lot of ways Kratos could still end up in the mix, I think. I'll admit though--it's more the aesthetic vibe and knowing how both all of the involved publishers (and devs for that matter) would salivate over the marketing (and gameplay) opportunities here. This is another case where I did not play the source game, but I'm just trying to pick the likely suspects out of the pool of faces I am aware for "vaguely fantasy-ish characters with unique weapons and visually distinctive fighting styles" in the gaming zeitgeist right now. But you're right: the console exclusive factor is far from a non-issue.

Does Ayane have a standard melee weapon? I'm trying to think back to early DoA cinematic/CGI scenes. I keep thinking of those glowing blades she had in Monty Oum's Dead Fantasy videos; were those cannon? I'd die for a brawler; Tekken, DoA, Virtua Fighter, I don't really care, but I've had real fun with Heihachi and Devil Jin in their respective SC games and a new unarmed style would really make a significant little chunk of my CaS army feel less artificial. I have to say your suggestion that Tifa should have appeared in place of Noctis is a pretty excellent concept. Remember that the Final Fantasy 7 remake is around the corner (or, you know, around the corner in SE time, which could mean any point from 2019 to 2035), so depending on how long Tekken 7 maintains the sequence of DLC seasons, who knows? Frankly there are a lot of Final Fantasy characters that would fit like a glove in Soul Calibur's formula (probably a few Kingdom Hearts characters too), but I think if we see any more RPG characters, they are likely to be recent protagonists from other franchises (and for that matter, probably other companies) that have not contributed as yet. I don't have sufficient exposure to that genre (and gaming industry news generally) these days to guess who those would be though.

I think Castlevania characters based on the Netflix show are unlikely, as I don't see Team Soul utilizing a character where they have to create/substantially re-adapt said character's visual style in order to make them work with Soul Calibur's engine; re-developing anime-esque designs to more photo-realistic models would be very different from anyhting they've done before (with the exception of Spawn, where the character had already been adapted into non-animated media and the original creator was directly involved with the process). Note that Negan, for example, is modeled most closely after his TV rather than comic iteration. Although I guess Akuma stands as a bit of a counter-example, now that I look at his trailer.

Of course, like any longtime franchise devotee, I have a list in my head about a hundred characters long of cross-over characters I've considered prime candidates for Caliburfication, but most just have no chance of passing the "eye-catcher" test at this point.
New Kratos works great. I would definitely like to see the small axe being thrown around with freezing properties. That is just assuming they can get around the console exclusive issue. We havent seen anything like that since SC2 and it does look like they are trying to stay away from it. But yes i agree, new Kratos looks even more interesting to me than the old one.

Yeah i dont think Noctis was a good idea. There are characters that no one is thinking of requesting but if Namco decide to use, everyone would be like "Oh yeah, he/she is a cool idea". imo Geese was a prime example of that, Noctis is not. This may sound somewhat hypocritical to say, but i think a swordsman doesnt fit in Tekken while a brawler can fit in Soulcalibur. The reason for that is because some degree of martial arts and hand-to-hand combat had to exist and be a thing from a long time ago even though soldiers were generally armed and fought with weapons. Its not as if people didnt know how to kick or throw a punch. So it wont look out of place to have one physical brawler.

They had better stay away from Kingdom Hearts though. Isnt Sora designed similar to Mickey in appearance? By that i mean exaggerated feet, hands and head? I always assumed that was purposely done to copy Mickey as much as possible since he wasnt really in the game. I'm not looking forward to seeing that in SC. It'll definitely ruin the game visually for me and i assume a lot of other people. I say this despite liking Kingdomhearts quite a bit and looking forward to the new game.

I dont think i've ever noticed Ayane having a weapon but i dont really pay much attention to DOA. They might want to stay away from ninjas in general with Taki and Yoshimitsu already on the roster now that i think about it, unless they have a very unique weapon or gimmic.

Nice advantage about Castlevania, its so old and has so many games they can pull designs from. They dont have to actually model anyone from the show. This is especially true if they went with Dracula because he has been in probably every game. That gives them an absurd amount of design concepts and abilities to make a movelist. A similar thing could be said about other characters in Castlevania but just less so because none of them are in every game. The show is important because it proves the characters and story is still relevant.

I'll be honest in saying i dont pay much attention to the stages. They are nice to look at but it is a low priority for me. I dont mind them deciding to cut corners with that if they needed to do so.
 
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Rusted Blade

[08] Mercenary
They had better stay away from Kingdom Hearts though. Isnt Sora designed similar to Mickey in appearance? By that i mean exaggerated feet, hands and head? I always assumed that was purposely done to copy Mickey as much as possible since he wasnt really in the game. I'm not looking forward to seeing that in SC. It'll definitely ruin the game visually for me and i assume a lot of other people. I say this despite liking Kingdomhearts quite a bit and looking forward to the new game.
I always got the sense that Sora was just wearing big boots, but who knows. I was actually thinking Aqua personally; again this is another case of my not having played the game(s) the character originates from but she just seems to have an appropriate design vibe and a lot of potential for a deep and varied moveset, and Kingdom Hearts III is due for release early next year. She is one of a number of KH characters that have more or less realistic body proportions and an overall character design that would fit in quite well into Soul Calibur--even if coming from a bit of a happy-go-lucky fictional world (as compared against most other guest characters to date, Link being an obvious exception).
 
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Rusted Blade

[08] Mercenary
This development has reminded me of something I meant to include in my initial post at the top of this page: I've had a feeling from the beginning (or more precisely, from the point that 2B was announced as the second DLC character, establishing a trend after Tira) that the first DLC season could be all female characters and that (if that were to happen) it would be almost certain that there would a second and all male season. If the speculation following this most recent development is correct and Amy and Cassandra are our remaining characters for the presently announced season pass, then I take it as a virtual certainty that there will be at least two seasons: I just don't imagine Namco/Project Soul would leave an imbalance like that in their DLC releases. It is true that the all female DLC would actually bring something close to parity in terms of the male/female divide, but I still just cannot imagine they would release one DLC with all female characters; people just fixate far too much on gender and publishers/devs are very much aware of this. So I'm excited not just because my top two choices have been apparently selected as the next two releases, but because it looks increasingly likely that we have many more stops on the DLC train--woooh!

So, my current projections (and honestly, this was the order I kind of viewed as likely all along):

  • DLC season pass 1: Tira, 2B, Cassandra, Amy
  • DLC season pass 2: Lizardman, Hwang (or Yun-seong), Li Long, Rock or a new guest character (with the latter being more likely than the former, I'd guess)
  • An unlikely third season pass: Setsuka, Hilde, Rock (if not in 2), guest character
  • I'd expect Algol and Dampierre only if guest characters do not take spaces in season passes 2 and 3 (should those even happen). I continue to believe SCV characters are unlikely in any event. I'd still like to see a mimics tab with a pulldown menu allowing you to choose Edge Master, Charade, or Olcadan--I feel that would be a nice touch for longtime fans, provided they were offered as a gimme at some point, but also believe players would have grievances if mimics replaced a full-on character with their own style as a part of any DLC.

At this point, given the overall trends and how neatly this would be packaged if things unfolded as above, I do not think any of the characters introduced in SCIV are likely candidates for either a first or second season pass. Tekken's second season pass featured 6 DLC characters, but note that the DLC schedule was a little different in that case, with only two playable characters added in the initial DLC package, which was largely more focused on a new mode, features and other non-character bonus content. By comparison, I very much suspect that SCVI's two DLCs will be mirror images of eachother in terms of added content: 4 characters (and their outfits for the creation editor), 2 massive creation piece dumps, a new stage (if one of the characters happens to be DLC), and maybe a few other incidental items of added content. I think they are pretty much going to close out the Soul Edge-Soul Calibur II characters, minus one of the dao wielders. I previously predicted that Hwang had a leg up on Yun-seong as a continuity/narrative/aesthetic/old school vibe matter, but now I am less certain: I think you'd have a lot of angry butt-hurt Yun-Seong players if you left him as literally the only character from the first three games (other than Seong Han-myeong) who did not feature in SCVI, and I'm betting the devs know that--so it may very well be that Hwang will be left out in the cold for a third main entry game in a row, since I just can't imagine both dao wielders featuring in the same DLC season.

Anyway, even though it leaves a lot of early-story faces unaccounted for, I think the devs absolutely made the right call to put Cassie and Amy forward, if this proves to be the case and I can't wait to get my hands on their updated styles for the first time since SCIV.
 
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artard4321

[10] Knight
Assuming the Season Pass characters are Cassandra and Amy, I'm guessing that Season 2 will look like this:

DLC4: Lizardman
DLC5: Setsuka
DLC6: Hilde
DLC7: Rock
DLC8: Hwang
DLC9: Dante

It would have six characters like Tekken 7 Season Pass 2 with a guest character at the end. Just like Tekken 7, SoulCalibur VI would start the season with a unique character (Lei | Setsuka) and a highly requested variant character (Anna | Aeon) and continue to reveal characters in pairs. Later on, it would follow up with another unique character (Marduk | Hilde) and a reworked variant character (Armor King | Rock). Lastly, Bandai Namco would reveal a unique and requested character (Julia | Hwang) and a guest character (Negan | Dante). I'm guessing Dante assuming that Devil May Cry 5 becomes successful since he is highly requested like 2B and Namco has a very good relationship with Capcom since they have done multiple crossovers and added Akuma in Tekken 7.

Code:
            TEKKEN 7        SoulCalibur VI

DLC0        Eliza           Tira

DLC1        TEKKEN BOWL     2B

DLC2        Geese           Cassandra

DLC3        Noctis          Amy

DLC4        Anna            Aeon

DLC5        Lei             Setsuka

DLC6        Marduk          Hilde

DLC7        Armor King      Rock

DLC8        Julia           Hwang

DLC9        Negan           Dante
If not Dante then I think Strider would be a very cool addition since he is well known within the fighting game community like Geese and has appeared in a lot of Capcom's fighting games and crossovers.
 

Rusted Blade

[08] Mercenary
Assuming the Season Pass characters are Cassandra and Amy, I'm guessing that Season 2 will look like this:

DLC4: Lizardman
DLC5: Setsuka
DLC6: Hilde
DLC7: Rock
DLC8: Hwang
DLC9: Dante

It would have six characters like Tekken 7 Season Pass 2 with a guest character at the end. Just like Tekken 7, SoulCalibur VI would start the season with a unique character (Lei | Setsuka) and a highly requested variant character (Anna | Aeon) and continue to reveal characters in pairs. Later on, it would follow up with another unique character (Marduk | Hilde) and a reworked variant character (Armor King | Rock). Lastly, Bandai Namco would reveal a unique and requested character (Julia | Hwang) and a guest character (Negan | Dante). I'm guessing Dante assuming that Devil May Cry 5 becomes successful since he is highly requested like 2B and Namco has a very good relationship with Capcom since they have done multiple crossovers and added Akuma in Tekken 7.

Code:
            TEKKEN 7        SoulCalibur VI

DLC0        Eliza           Tira

DLC1        TEKKEN BOWL     2B

DLC2        Geese           Cassandra

DLC3        Noctis          Amy

DLC4        Anna            Aeon

DLC5        Lei             Setsuka

DLC6        Marduk          Hilde

DLC7        Armor King      Rock

DLC8        Julia           Hwang

DLC9        Negan           Dante
If not Dante then I think Strider would be a very cool addition since he is well known within the fighting game community like Geese and has appeared in a lot of Capcom's fighting games and crossovers.
I'd bet you dollars to doughnuts that a second season pass (if it happens) would be four rather than six characters--I wish it wasn't so, but I think we have a lot reasons to expect that: Namco have already set a price point on what they think a reasonable expenditure for a DLC package (and for marketing reasons, companies tend to try to keep all similarly framed DLC packages at a similar price point). Remember that this is a very different situation as a production and marketing matter than is the Tekken scenario you are using as a guide here. In that instance, the first DLC consisted of only two characters but had a whole new mode and a large number of costumes, so it was rather an apple and oranges kind of situation, and it made sense to overload a second DLC with characters because the player wasn't getting much of anything else in that second instance. Now, it's possible that for a SCVI DLC season 2, they would not include any CaS items and compensate with extra characters, but I think that's unlikely, and that they will be going for rough parity in the packages--that instinct is reinforced by the recent revelations if they prove to be indicative of what they seem to indicate: I don't think an all-female season was arrived at by mere chance. Also a full character moveset (even an update of a legacy style) takes a lot more in development time than does even a CaS package with 100 items, and that's before you factor in later balancing work down the line, so I doubt Namco/PS would re-calibrate their season passes in that direction; they'd be coming out with less net profit, unless they could be certain the extra two characters would generate a lot more sales

All of that said, I'm really in a position of hoping my instincts are off and yours are on, because I certainly relish the idea of 9 characters (counting 2B) to go, and much as I'd like more legacy content for the CaS editor, I'd be willing to sacrifice that content for playable styles. Of course, 3 seasons of 4 (for a total of 12 characters with 6 CaS packages) would be even more spectacular, but realistically, we don't even know if we can plan on a second--though I have to say it is looking more and more likely, so fingers crossed!

Regarding Dante, I am guessing you are aware that he was planned as a guest character at one point (III, IV? I can't recall) but the plans were scrapped. The thing is, this doesn't feel like his moment; I don't really play DMC, so you'll have to tell me if I'm wrong, but hasn't it been years since the last entry in that franchise? The trend to date has been to use presently hot properties for DLC; without an upcoming or recent entry in the Devil May Cry franchise, I'd say Dante is unlikely. Though frankly this is another case of I hope I am wrong; personally I don't know if Dante is a great fit and there are others I'd personally rather see first, but it would feel meaningful to have the development team pick up an idea that was dropped long ago and see it to fruition.

Speaking of another similar character that I always thought would have been a good fit, but whose time has apparently passed (at least for foreseeable future): the Prince of Persia (in some combination of his Sands trilogy and 2008 reboot combat moves, nevermind if they are technically different characters). More recently, it occurred to me that Talion from Shadow of Mordor/War would be a good fit, but then I realized there are about fifty different ways in which he would feel duplicative of Geralt.
 
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SXSStyle1985

[05] Battler
I'd bet you dollars to doughnuts that a second season pass (if it happens) would be four rather than six characters--I wish it wasn't so, but I think we have a lot reasons to expect that: Namco have already set a price point on what they think a reasonable expenditure for a DLC package (and for marketing reasons, companies tend to try to keep all similarly framed DLC packages at a similar price point). Remember that this is a very different situation as a production and marketing matter than is the Tekken scenario you are using as a guide here. In that instance, the first DLC consisted of only two characters but had a whole new mode and a large number of costumes, so it was rather an apple and oranges kind of situation, and it made sense to overload a second DLC with characters because the player wasn't getting much of anything else in that second instance. Now, it's possible that for a SCVI DLC season 2, they would not include any CaS items and compensate with extra characters, but I think that's unlikely, and that they will be going for rough parity in the packages--that instinct is reinforced by the recent revelations if they prove to be indicative of what they seem to indicate: I don't think an all-female season was arrived at by mere chance. Also a full character moveset (even an update of a legacy style) takes a lot more in development time than does even a CaS package with 100 items, and that's before you factor in later balancing work down the line, so I doubt Namco/PS would re-calibrate their season passes in that direction; they'd be coming out with less net profit, unless they could be certain the extra two characters would generate a lot more sales

All of that said, I'm really in a position of hoping my instincts are off and yours are on, because I certainly relish the idea of 9 characters (counting 2B) to go, and much as I'd like more legacy content for the CaS editor, I'd be willing to sacrifice that content for playable styles. Of course, 3 seasons of 4 (for a total of 12 characters with 6 CaS packages) would be even more spectacular, but realistically, we don't even know if we can plan on a second--though I have to say it is looking more and more likely, so fingers crossed!

Regarding Dante, I am guessing you are aware that he was planned as a guest character at one point (III, IV? I can't recall) but the plans were scrapped. The thing is, this doesn't feel like his moment; I don't really play DMC, so you'll have to tell me if I'm wrong, but hasn't it been years since the last entry in that franchise? The trend to date has been to use presently hot properties for DLC; without an upcoming or recent entry in the Devil May Cry franchise, I'd say Dante is unlikely. Though frankly this is another case of I hope I am wrong; personally I don't know if Dante is a great fit and there are others I'd personally rather see first, but it would feel meaningful to have the development team pick up an idea that was dropped long ago and see it to fruition.

Speaking of another similar character that I always thought would have been a good fit, but whose time has apparently passed (at least for foreseeable future): the Prince of Persia (in some combination of his Sands trilogy and 2008 reboot combat moves, nevermind if they are technically different characters). More recently, it occurred to me that Talion from Shadow of Mordor/War would be a good fit, but then I realized there are about fifty different ways in which he would feel duplicative of Geralt.
Dante was originally planned to be added in SCIII but was scrapped afterwards. Also, it's been 10 years since the previous entry (Devil May Cry 4) was released and Devil May Cry 5 is currently slated for a release in February. Just stating the facts. =3
 

AMillionHP

[13] Hero
Dante was originally planned to be added in SCIII but was scrapped afterwards. Also, it's been 10 years since the previous entry (Devil May Cry 4) was released and Devil May Cry 5 is currently slated for a release in February. Just stating the facts. =3
This was posted on the thread shortly before 2B was revealed.

I just wanna randomly point out that this is very false. Someone spread this rumour back in 2005 but very few people bothered to do fact-checking. The rumour claims that a producer called Hiroshi Yamaguchi said in an issue of Shonen Jump that Capcom gave Namco rights to use Dante in exchange for Capcom using SC2's engine in DMC3. The problem is that there's no indication of someone called Hiroshi Yamaguchi ever working at Namco, no one found this article in Shonen Jump, and there's no sign of assets for another engine in DMC3.
 

Rusted Blade

[08] Mercenary
Dante was originally planned to be added in SCIII but was scrapped afterwards. Also, it's been 10 years since the previous entry (Devil May Cry 4) was released and Devil May Cry 5 is currently slated for a release in February. Just stating the facts. =3
Well, if there's a new Devil May Cry around the corner, then that changes the equation entirely, as mentioned above. It seems like a very reasonable possibility in those circumstances, given his almost being adapted in the past, combined with the serendipity of the the upcoming entry. Could be a peculiar mix of aestheics though--but not any more so than Yoda or 2B.
 

AMillionHP

[13] Hero
Well, if there's a new Devil May Cry around the corner, then that changes the equation entirely, as mentioned above. It seems like a very reasonable possibility in those circumstances, given his almost being adapted in the past, combined with the serendipity of the the upcoming entry. Could be a peculiar mix of aestheics though--but not any more so than Yoda or 2B.
Best case against Dante though is that him and 2B come from very similar type of games. What that could mean is they run the risk of attracting the exact same customers that were going to buy 2B anyway.

I suspect they'll want to broaden their reach to other players if that makes sense. Witcher and Neir are very different games and will attract different people.
 

Rusted Blade

[08] Mercenary
This was posted on the thread shortly before 2B was revealed.
That's interesting info, AMHP; I don't know how many times I've heard that fact mentioned in various places over the years, but I have to admit, it makes more sense if it is apocryphal; I had never heard the "in exchange for using their engine" part of the story, but it always felt like the choice did not add up. These days cross licensing is not unheard of, but think about all of the guests up until that point (and for many years afterwards): Link was licensed in a sweetheart deal to help sell the game on the gamecube, Heihachi was a Namco property, and Spawn was licensed from non-game media (and apparently with the bonus for MacFarlane that Namco would also purchase some concept art from him to make into another character, and so Necrid was born..). Even when Soul Calibur IV rolled around and the Star Wars characters made an unexpected visit--which, I personally still like; yeah they stick out like a sore thumb and yeah, they are kinda broken AF, but there was a certain kick to be had from seeing them duke it out with the likes of Yoshimitsu and Lizardman--it was obviously driven by promotion for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, a game whose publishers went full media blitzkrieg on, trying to convince the world that the game was going to not only be the best Star Wars game that ever had or ever would be, but also the best game of the year, bar none. The publishers had those devs everywhere trying to pitch that kinda clunky but still entertaining, and yet certainly no better than mid-tier game as the best piece of gaming ever wrought by the hands of man. So I bet that license (which at other times would have been impossible) actually came pretty cheap to Namco.

The only cases that ever really surprised and/or impressed me with the feeling that some real effort must have been necessary to get the image use rights were Kratos, Ezio, and now Geralt and 2B. And all of those are done in the modern context where such things have become more common and companies keep more of an open mind. Dante for SCIII just would have been pretty odd and surprising, honestly. But watch Namco negotiate it now anyway, because why the hell not, lol? Capcom already uses Dante in Marvel v. Capcom these days, but they certainly like their cross-promotions (usually with them at the helm or with some sort of reciprocity, though). Anyway, I can think of a hundred characters I'd rather see before Dante; hasn't Soul Calibur suffered enough emo nonsense in the last two entries?
 
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mokamoka827

[13] Hero
Normally one of my arguments against a character like Dante would be his use of guns, but with 2B having Pod, that wouldn't matter much. However, his design would still be an issue. For me, anyway. 2B at least doesn't look out of place design-wise. But Dante is actually dressed in modern-day attire, which would clash with the rest of the game quite a bit in my opinion.
It is kind of hard to guess who the possible third guest could potentially be though. 2B was really the only obvious choice.
Ayane, especially in her new DOA6 outfit, would be a pretty decent pick. She has some kind of kunai on her in DOA6 I think, and in the Koei games she's appeared it, she fights with two kodachi(?). There is the possible similarity with Taki's fighting style, but I'm sure PS could do a fine job differentiating them from each other.
 

Ciruxxx83

[04] Fighter
Call it "wishful thinking", but wouldn't it be nice to have yet another newcomer for season 2 (assuming there is a season 2) with a brand new weapon? Maybe another heavy, like Astha, but instead of going for the obvious heavy weapons, giving him/her a flail and shield? (and I mean a big-ass shield, like a tower shield). And a cool heavy armor too. I think it would delight the community and add another reality-based weapon/style that is just great. Besides, we're seriously lacking in the heavy department so far, and with Rock not being popular, I believe a char like this would have a very positive impact. Again, wishful thinking.
 

Rusted Blade

[08] Mercenary
Call it "wishful thinking", but wouldn't it be nice to have yet another newcomer for season 2 (assuming there is a season 2) with a brand new weapon? Maybe another heavy, like Astha, but instead of going for the obvious heavy weapons, giving him/her a flail and shield? (and I mean a big-ass shield, like a tower shield). And a cool heavy armor too. I think it would delight the community and add another reality-based weapon/style that is just great. Besides, we're seriously lacking in the heavy department so far, and with Rock not being popular, I believe a char like this would have a very positive impact. Again, wishful thinking.
I couldn't agree more. I've always preferred characters who use actual historical (or at least somewhat realistic) weapons over the nonsense fantasy weapons (such as bladed hula-hoops and other such goofiness where the leverage and biomechanics make absolutely no sense, even in the context of a series where one is used to accepting a high degree of creative license in the physics and practicalities involved). There are obvious exceptions to this--Ivy's blade remains cool twenty years on and I am really digging 2B, to the point that I expect I may be using her as my secondary main this generation--and obviously the movements of Voldo, Yoshimitsu, and Lizardman were grandfathered in a long time ago and we don't even blink at how silly they can be anymore. But seriously, we have enough of these goofballs who look flashy and fun to anime fans but whose weapons really make zero sense, and I seriously groaned (Grøhned?) pretty hard when I saw what the two new in-universe characters looked like. I've since warmed to Azwel a little; I always play his style via a creation because his default model looks like a 1950's stage magician / sex offender, but of the three meta-weapon styles to date (Necrid, Algol, Azwel), I've found his to be the most fluid. But count me in as someone who feels strongly that there is still a whole universe of actual historical weapons that have not been explored that should be the basis for some future styles before we get the next oddball that fights with a hopscotch rope, or a sword with three blades sticking out random angles, or someone who fights while standing on their hands...

In that vein, I'd be down for a tower-shield and western halberd wielder--that sounds like a great addition (especially, as you say, because we are really short on heavy hitters so far). I wonder if For Honor has any upcoming sequels or major DLC packages? Adapting one of its characters (even if just a generic class) as a guest to fit this role could check a lot of boxes at once, and on account of Ezio, we know that Ubisoft is willing to play ball on the cross promotion.
 
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Heniek

[10] Knight
I couldn't agree more. I've always preferred characters who use actual historical (or at least somewhat realistic) weapons over the nonsense fantasy weapons (such as bladed hula-hoops and other such goofiness where the leverage and biomechanics make absolutely no sense, even in the context of a series where one is used to accepting a high degree of creative license in the physics and practicalities involved). There are obvious exceptions to this--Ivy's blade remains cool twenty years on and I am really digging 2B, to the point that I expect I may be using her as my secondary main this generation--and obviously the movements of Voldo, Yoshimitsu, and Lizardman were grandfathered in a long time ago and we don't even blink at how silly they can be anymore. But seriously, we have enough of these goofballs who look flashy and fun to anime fans but whose weapons really make zero sense, and groaned (Grøhned?) pretty hard when I saw what the two new in-universe characters looked like. I've since warmed to Azwel a little; I always play his style via a creation because his default model looks like a 1950's stage magician / sex offender, but of the three meta-weapon styles to date (Necrid, Algol, Azwel), I've found his to be the most fluid. But count me in as someone who feels strongly that there is still a whole universe of actual historical weapons that have not been explored that should be the basis for some future styles before we get the next oddball that fights with a hopscotch rope, or a sword with three blades sticking out random angles, or someone who fights while standing on their hands...

In that vein, I'd be down for a tower-shield and western halberd wielder--that sounds like a great addition (especially, as you say, because we are really short on heavy hitters so far). I wonder if For Honor has any upcoming sequels or major DLC packages? Adapting one of its characters (even if just a generic class) as a guest to fit this role could check a lot of boxes at once, and on account of Ezio, we know that Ubisoft is willing to play ball on the cross promotion.
Makes me wonder - why till this day we didn't get a sabre wielding character? Add some fancy mustache and we have a proper easterner (why there is no one from East Europe?). I suppose it's just not fancy enough and considering that with every new thing that comes in it has to be more flashy and colourful to the point where my nystagmus goes even crazier than usual, it simply ain't going away
 

Rusted Blade

[08] Mercenary
Makes me wonder - why till this day we didn't get a sabre wielding character? Add some fancy mustache and we have a proper easterner (why there is no one from East Europe?). I suppose it's just not fancy enough and considering that with every new thing that comes in it has to be more flashy and colourful to the point where my nystagmus goes even crazier than usual, it simply ain't going away
Yup, a sabre wielder is a pretty blatant gap to my mind as well. I think part of it comes down to demographics; until recently, eastern Europe was not a huge market for publishers and though plenty of weapons utilized in the SC franchise have come from cultures whose modern analogs are not big overseas markets for Namco, most styles reliably play to certain historical tropes (the knight, the samurai) or else more fantastical options. Eastern Europe, Africa, India, and central and southeast Asia (with the obvious exception of Talim) have all gotten short shrift. Anyway, getting back to the sabre, there are some weapons which, in form, are technically sabres for Raphael, Amy, and another of the characters in SCIII:CE, but they use the rapier/epee styles for the moves, of course. I think a dedicated sabre style in the mode of Pan Wołodyjowski with a szabla would be a great addition.
 
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SXSStyle1985

[05] Battler
So, since we already know who the next two DLC characters are, thanks to the leak. Should we expect Yun-Seong, Setsuka, and Aeon as likely candidates for Season 2? It looks that way since those three were placed rather high on the popularity poll. =/