2K released the following information about WWE 2K18's revamped career mode, now called Universe Mode.
New for this year, rivalries are separated into two types: Potential Rivalries and Active Rivalries. As the Superstars compete in their matches, perform promos or perform run-ins on each other, a Potential Rivalry will be established between them. Looking at the Rivalries menu, you can see a meter for each Potential rivalry and the state it’s in. This meter will build up as the interactions continue between the potential rivals during their matches. Once the meter is full, it’ll enter a “Standby” state and move into the next available Active Rivalry slot in the following show. Think of Potential Rivalries as the build-up to a full-fledged rivalry between Superstars.
These interactions take the forms of promos, cutscenes, and run-ins. The interactions that happen are mostly random, depending on various factors related to the Superstars. Things like rankings, relationships, a Superstar’s crowd reactions and their personalities are some of the things that can influence the chance of an interaction happening, as well as the type of interaction.
There are also some ways players can influence Personal Rivalries through their own actions. Think of doing something that would get under an opponent’s skin or infuriate him/her or something that would make you want to get even. For example, attacking your opponent with a chair is a definite way of maxing out a Potential Rivalry’s meter.
Intensity is a new addition this year, and it’s in both Potential and Active Rivalries. Intensity determines what’s likely to happen between the Superstars in a Rivalry and should help you identify from just a glance in the menus what kind of rivalry is taking place. Intensity has four different color-coded levels:
Low (Green): Sportsman-like conduct between the rivals; in short, a “friendly” rivalry;
Medium (Yellow): Rivals are disrespectful and confrontational or growing frustrated from being on the losing end;
High (Orange): Rivals are resorting to and responding with cheap shots and distractions against each other;
Very High (Red): The rivalry has become hostile, with Superstars attacking each other.
The Intensity of a rivalry will vary based on the interaction between the Superstars and is certainly likely to increase the longer the rivalry goes on. For example, a rivalry may start off at Medium Intensity after a call-out promo and then change to a High Intensity after one rival sucker-punches the other in the following week’s match. Players creating their own rivalries can choose the level of Intensity as well, increasing the possibilities further on what kinds of rivalries you can create.
New to this year are Power Rankings, which will rank each Superstar in your Universe based on success. While championships define the best Superstars of a show, Power Rankings are useful for finding out who’s the best Superstar in all of the WWE Universe. Winning high profile matches, earning championships and coming out ahead in rivalries will elevate Superstars up these Power Rankings.
Something we wanted to represent in Universe Mode is how some Superstars push past their limits and go on an unstoppable run, as well as how the underdogs can fight their way up to the very top to win and defend championship gold. Power Rankings will allow Superstars to achieve these kinds of runs by boosting them with temporary attribute bonuses if they can climb high enough in the Power Rankings. This allows low-powered Superstars to fight their way to championships and match up with the best of them or turn an already powerful Superstar into an unstoppable force.