People Love (And Hate) Splatoon's Best Weapon

People Love (And Hate) Splatoon's Best Weapon

Splatoon isn't out yet — but already one of its classes is gaining the type of infamy relegated to items like the blue shell, or characters like Little Mac.

Behold... Splatoon's roller.

People Love (And Hate) Splatoon's Best Weapon

Picture: Sleepy Jirachi

As some of you might know, Splatoon is a game about squid girls who fight with ink, not bullets. People got a taste of this unique premise last weekend during the "Global Testfire" demo, which allowed everyone to try out one of Splatoon's modes for a limited time. Known as Turf War, the mode asks you to cover as much ground as possible in your team's paint. The team with the most ground covered wins the game.

You know what's really good at covering a lot of ground with paint? The roller. Look at it! It was made to cover surfaces with paint; the water guns don't hold a candle to it. So it's probably no surprise to hear that matches were always stocked with roller players. Sometimes, it wasn't unusual to get into a match with mostly roller players. People even felt the need to document the rare instances when a match didn't have rollers in it.

There's good reason for it. Not only is the roller good for getting the objective, it's also really good at taking out enemies:

People Love (And Hate) Splatoon's Best Weapon

Picture: Sleepy Jirachi

More importantly, the roller is a) really easy to use and b) a ton of fun to play. I gravitated more toward other classes, but I still feel confident in saying that Splatoon's roller is one of the best renditions of a "heavy weapon" that the shooter genre has to offer.

Combine the roller's uniqueness, ubiquity, and fun factor, and what you get is a weapon that people have very strong Opinions about. During the Global Testfire, I heard a lot of clamor about the roller. People seemed to be in two distinct camps.

There were those who felt the weapon was overpowered:

People Love (And Hate) Splatoon's Best Weapon
People Love (And Hate) Splatoon's Best Weapon
People Love (And Hate) Splatoon's Best Weapon

Picture: r/splatoon

People Love (And Hate) Splatoon's Best Weapon

Picture: Squidboards

People Love (And Hate) Splatoon's Best Weapon

Picture: GameFaqs

And there were people who felt that the roller wasn't as bad as everyone made it out to be:

People Love (And Hate) Splatoon's Best Weapon
People Love (And Hate) Splatoon's Best Weapon
People Love (And Hate) Splatoon's Best Weapon

Even if people didn't fall into those camps, the roller still elicited a strong reaction. Notably, lots of people were cracking jokes about it:

People Love (And Hate) Splatoon's Best Weapon

Others felt that this was a prime opportunity to give tips on how to deal with the roller situation:

Personally, I feel that people with rollers are really easy to deal with... provided you're paying attention to what's going on. Rollers, after all, turn someone into a target. A slow, easy-to-hit target. I also feel that dominating with a roller isn't a sure-fire thing, though any serious team should still try to have at least one roller on the roster for good measure. Team balance and all that.

Mostly, though, I noticed that many roller players seemed more interested in kills than in playing for the objective. And in a mode where kill/death ratio means diddly squat, that's obsession with murder is pretty hilarious. It seems that even Nintendo can't get people to stop caring about how many kills they have.

Perhaps the roller's infamy will fade once the game is out, and people have had time to really develop the Splatoon metagame. For now, though, Splatoon players can't stop talking about the roller.


    Personally, I feel that people with rollers are really easy to deal with…

    How can you stomp a team of rollers who have barely played for 1-2 hours? trust me once people get use to the balance of whether its better to flick paint or rollover or squid form and fallback and choose a better way to engage in a given situation than you'll see how truly imbalanced rollers are in turf war. unless the other weapons in the game offer a better way to dispatch rollers expect them to dominate turf war.

      She also said that it's a bunch of squid girls. There are boys too.
      I find the roller is just part of a team, ideally, you should have one of each. For me, the splattershot worked best. I also played like this. Ink everywhere until you get to the middle of the map, try to kill other squid so I can continue to ink. Kills are actually part of the game, otherwise, they wouldn't have added it in.

      How can you form this opinion after 1-2 hours of barely play time?

        Because it was the only weapon in the entire demo that felt like in influenced the entire match, it only took about 30 minutes into the demo before you started seeing 4 roller teams.

        Trust me I would love it if I was wrong, I enjoyed my time with the test fire, it would be awesome if the other weapons shook that dynamic.

      Easy to take out rollers, they have zero range.

        if you tap the trigger you can flick ink at people, depending on the distance is usually a one shot as well, so they can be used as a short range weapon if you want.

        Last edited 12/05/15 8:38 pm

    why does kotaku need to always write an article about what's OP in game that's only been out for a few days? or in this case, only 3 hours of the game has been played?

    it's the same for Smash bros and little mac or Mortal Kombat and scorpion, after a few days peopel realised they weren't as good (and in little mac's case, people realised he's actually one of the worst character's in the game, yet he still got nerfed because people complained.)

    Don't call for nerfs when you haven't had enough time in the game to know how to deal with it.

      Someone is Tay wrote a better review of splatoon. It was pretty good.


        Rollers are very good at covering ground, but in combat they can easily be jumped over (i don't think many people expected that kind of detail from Nintendo). They also have a nerf on them in that they don't turn as fast as the camera does, and that delay costs them massively in cqc along with the "slow refire rate".

        They are brilliantly satisfying for people who want to contribute in a shooter game but don't have the skills to aim yet, and I find that really cool. However, they are not OP with absolute certainty (as fun as they are to romp around with).

        I think we really need to wait to see how things pan out after a few weeks of gathering stats. At most they would just need a movement speed or ink use rate adjustment. I'm certain we'll see many tweaks like that as the meta develops.

        This isn't the ink stain on Nintendo's white pants of balance that some people have been making it out to be.

        Last edited 12/05/15 5:26 pm

      I think your looking at it the wrong way, its not so much that they outclass other roles, its the fact that turf war matches are extremely short and unless your team are able to completely choke the rollers at the half way point they will do immeasurable and fast coverage to the turf.

        exactly, so a change in tactics is needed to combat them, not a nerfing of the class.

        it's not OP, it just requires experience that 3 hours of play isn't going to give you.

    "Rollers are OP!!"

    Well, last I checked most people use rollers to paint their houses and not a super people were expecting otherwise??

    The roller gives a nice team structure for me. I play a lot of MMO's so I like to think like this: A team should consist of 1 roller, 2 shooters and a charger. Roller is the "tank" and will most likely cover the most ground. You have your charger be a sort of support character and get rid of anybody threatening the roller. The shooters are your DPS and should travel together doing their own thing and covering a bit more turf.

    The roller definitely isn't op, it's just that when you use it you either wipe out the whole enemy team at once or get killed instantly.

    I experienced both of the above during the global testfire.

    Last edited 12/05/15 5:38 pm

    They're not all girls in this game. There's boys, too!

    The roller looks easy to defeat. Get on high ground - shoot the roller - ??? - Profit!

      To be honest, you don't even need to get on high ground. I took two out with a splattershot because they move quite slow and don't have the distance of the other weapons.

    "X" is OP and needs to be nerfed!

    Translation in English:
    I lost a few times to one thing and I am super mega awesome so either the game is broken or the other person cheated.

    Last edited 12/05/15 8:07 pm

    I too thought rollers were OP after my first couple of matches, then I realised how easy it is to take out someone using a roller.

    Eh, the roller was just easy to pick up and satisfactorily immediately powerful. I died to them at the beginning and then I killed a lot with it, but later, it was not so easy to get killed or kill as everybody knew what to expect. Towards the very end, when people were starting to get good at the game and grasping the mechanics, I got "sniped" a few times from God knows where with the shotgun-like weapon, which I thought was quite OP as it's basically impossible to notice or avoid, but which clear drawback is the rather slow and poor ink-coverage of the turf.

    Last edited 13/05/15 1:07 am

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