Splatoon‘s first-ever Splatfest event will commence on July 4th, publisher Nintendo announced, giving players the chance to settle an eternal rivalry: cats versus dogs.
Nintendo additionally revealed that it will introduce a number of mechanical changes and balance tweaks in Splatoon this week, effectively nerfing some of the game’s more powerful abilities in the days leading up to Splatfest.
Splatfest is a global Splatoon tournament in which players pick one of two sides and compete in a series of Turf War battles to determine a winner. Competitors can level up in devotion to their cause throughout the 24-hour event, earning unique in-game items at the tournament’s conclusion.
Familiar areas will adopt a neon-tinted, nighttime aesthetic for the duration of Splatfest. Players in North America and Europe will compete to determine whether dogs or cats make better pets, while Japanese players are fighting for the supremacy of udon or soba noodles.
Splatfest battles may play out differently than veteran players might expect, however. A Splatoon software update is due to launch tomorrow, June 30. Afterward, several popular weapons and abilities will no longer pack the overpowered punch that they once did.
The Kraken special weapon, for instance, will lose some of its stopping power after tomorrow’s update. Starting on June 30, Krakens on the battlefield can be pushed back further with enemy fire, limiting the weapon’s ability to close in on faraway opponents. Inkstrikes will also be changed, but for the better; targeted areas will now be more consistently covered in ink than they were before.
The Ninja Squid ability will see significant changes following tomorrow’s update, as the boost in under-ink stealth will now come at the cost of swim speed. Stealth Jumps will also drop in speed while retaining map invisibility. Finally, the “Ink Resistance Up” ability will see significant changes in speed and damage when players attempt to swim through enemy ink.
Other tweaks affecting server load and player distribution across teams are also planned to ship with tomorrow’s update. Splatfest kicks off on July 4th at 12:00 AM PT and will end the same day at 11:59 PM.