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Hima's early impressions on BBCF's new mechanics: Exceed Accel and Active Flow


shtkn

DISCLAIMER: All of this was written by Hima (@hima696).

Original link: https://www.evernote.com/shard/s633/sh/58792055-416a-427b-82e8-cafbc8f75d9b/3ce45767492ac3ecff2448f4cfe59554



0. Introduction

This time, I'm here to organize and report all the OD-related information I've obtained to prepare for the arcade release of BBCF.

Some people would rather understand the logical parts of a game by playing it themselves, which can be said to be part of the fun. However, there are many people who play fighting games with victory in mind. With that said, this column has been written with those people in mind.

As I kept writting this text, it turned out that I made it too big. Not only that, but since I wrote it on my smartphone, it's probably not very well formatted. I believe that this could be a bit hard to read, but please bear with it for a while.



1. OD or Burst? - The key to this question is Active Flow

In this version, burst is ignoring invulnerability, guard point and armor properties entirely. As result to this, it's even better to stop the opponent's combos. That's even more true considering it also has CP Burst's start-up and untechable time.

Since you can't react to the burst activation, and since you can't avoid bursts with invulnerability anymore, in order to counteract CF's Burst you need to hard read the burst by blocking it or go for a combo path which leaves you far away enough from the opponent so that the burst will whiff on activation.

With that in mind, we all come to the conclusion that using bursts a lot is valid in this game. HOWEVER, there's a trap in this thought process. And that's AF (Active Flow).

AF has many different effects, but the one that needs a special mention is the increased burst regeneration rate. Once AF is activated, you can get about 40% of it back quickly.

As long as you can activate your AF, getting your burst back in the same round is something that'll happen more often than not. Looking at your burst gauge rapidly recover is something rather moving on its own, so I recommend that everyone go check it out with their own eyes once the game is out.

Once you burst, however, AF automatically ends, and, in the case you haven't activated it yet this round, you won't be able to anymore for the entirety of the round. On the other hand, OD does not have any of those restrictions, and by hitting an EA (Exceed Accel), you automatically enter AF state. Strong!!

Bursts spend all of your burst gauge, while OD spends 70% of it. Amounting that to AF's effects, it's possible to ascertain that there's a huge difference in how fast you get your burst gauge back when comparing the use of Bursts/OD.

Not only the OD mechanic has preserved all of its characteristics, such as its invulnerability, character specific power-ups, and the existence of GCOD (its actual name is Overdrive Raid), but now we also have a universal low risk comeback option called EA.



2. Hitting and getting hit by EA - Knowing the basics

Exceed Accel, a mechanic avaliable as long as your OD is activated. Its characteristics certainly justfity how OD ends after you use it... Actually it's probably way too effective to justify it.

In its nature it's treated as another DD. However, it's a super move that:

- Uses up your OD, but no heat gauge.
- Has no superflash animation.
- It has invulnerability from 1F start-up until the end of its active frames.
- Unpunishable on normal block.
- Activates AF on hit (as long as AF hasn't been activated yet in the round).

If it doesn't quite come right yet, think about Bang's Ashura which doesn't have a superflash and it should become clear to you. While we're at it, EA is an Ashura that normally deals 2000 damage but it goes up to 4000 while you're in AF.

Also, EA has a fast start-up version (hold ABCD during OD activation animation) and a normal version (ABCD in any other situation while in OD). Other than its start-up and invul, they are basically the same move. How players can use their ODs to complicate even further mindgames between them and their opponent is something really amazing about it.

You can't RC it. Once you hit someone with it, you're invulnerable until the move is finished. It's a relief that, at the very least, you can't follow up EA with a combo, but being able to apply that much pressure by just being in OD is incredible.

One of the few flaws that EA has is not having any sort of minimal damage. In other words, in other to make full use of EA you need to use it early in a combo. However, even if you end your combo early to make better use of EA's damage, you should have been able to add more damage by going on with the OD combo, and given how you spent your whole OD and give up on any sort of combo after it, it leaves up thinking if it's really worth to use EA early in combos like that.

In that case, is there any merit to using EA in combos? Yes, there is! As long as you're aiming to activate your Active Flow.

As I've explained earlier when talking about AF's benefits, there's no reason for you to not use this. When it comes to how you're supposed to use it, most characters can cOD into fast EA during combos. As for normal EA in combos, I think only some characters should be able to do it. In any case, EA is probably the only and one way to intentionally activate AF, so researching combo paths that lead to it is never a waste of time.



3. Hit it! Mash it! Can EA-EA become the new gold burst?

Leaving EA's basic characteristics aside, I'd like to talk a bit more about EA as a reversal move.

Let me say this before anything else: If, by release, people find or research new things and whatever is written here becomes invalid, remember that all of this comes from the latest loketest. There's always a possibility that this could be wrong by release, so please bear with it.

A strong point about EA as a reversal would be, certainly, how low-risk it is. You only lose your OD when using it, and you can't be punished if they block it - in other words, it's an extraordinary property of it. Even characters who don't have a DP can properly use a low-risk reversal as long as they have their OD to spend; that's big.

You could quickly turn the tables in your favor with the AF that comes from EA, and even if you don't hit it you already have 30% of your burst gauge filled and no meter spent. Many opportunities for a comeback.
 
New layers of mindgame also rise from this mechanic. After all, it's an unburstable 2000~4000 damage super that activates AF - you can't help but be cautious once you see your opponent's OD superflash animation. Not only that, but since EA doesn't have any sort of superflash, you can't react to it, and, for as long as your opponent is in OD state, they could always activate it when you less expect it. With that in mind, all of you BlazBlue players can imagine how and when this could be used. Make sure to let your opponents feel it themselves.

Now, if you've been playing this game up until now, you've probably been able to relate this mechanic to the now gone "Gold Burst" - a reversal anyone can use; doesn't use up any of your meter; safe on block; low risk and high reward. They're similar in many ways.

Compared to the gold burst, EA is sort of telegraphed by the use of OD beforehand, but being unburstable and having a good reward compensate for that; also, you can't count out GCOD. Huh? Isn't this mechanic a bit too dangerous?

Back then you'd see gold bursts more often than not, and I feel like it'll be the case with EA as well. Keep in mind that AF quickly regenerates your burst gauge, and EA is the trigger for that. You'll probably see EA happening even more than gold burst did back then.



4. Block it! Smash it! EA - Let's do what we can.

EA is certainly strong. But it's a universal mechanic. If you can use it, then your opponent can as well. That can be a problem.

The key for this universal mechanic is imposing your EA's merits while rending your opponent unable to do the same. In other words, finding ways to avoid EA is what we should do.

As we all know, EAs can only be used during OD. Attempting a raw OD by pressing A+B+C+D while holding 4 with your stick can be unexpectedly difficult, given how, unless you press the four buttons at the same time, you'll get Barrier instead (because of how input priority works). 

This isn't certain to work because GCOD exists, bur using a meaty overhead on your opponent's wake-up as a way to pop out its burst instead of a OD is one option. However, there's no meaning if your opponent can activate its OD and punish you with EA, so you need to be very careful with that.

Speaking realistically, turning your opponent's OD into a burst is something hard to do - you could yourself lucky for succeeding in that. Using jabs to pressure carefully, and dealing with your opponent's OD as you react to the superflash happens way more often, I'd say. It should work that way in BBCF as well. Let's think about ways to deal with the fast version EA that happens right after OD activation:

1) Making it whiff:
Generally, EA's hitbox isn't big vertically speaking, so jumping over it to make it whiff is a viable and rather reliable option.

2) Reversal into RC:
EA's fast version doesn't have that much invulnerability. A character with a DP could easily use it and RC afterwards.

3) Counteract it with your own OD:
Making your opponent fall into the same mindgame you're being forced into is also an option. It's also good because you can check what your opponent is doing while you're in OD superflash animation. Depending on timing, you could use your own EA against your opponent's EA, bringing the match to a development your opponent wouldn't expect.


Above you can see some simple ways to deal with fast EA. In the case you're dealing with normal EA, it has slower start-up so you (probably) can deal with it easier, but keep in mind that it also has longer invul. Also, remember that, like OD activation, unless you press all four buttons at the same time, you will get a barrier input instead.

Furthermore, I don't recommend intentionally getting hit by EA. By doing that, your opponents enters AF, and each character's EA differ from each other: some of them can switch sides at the end of the animation, leaving your back to the corner, for example. The match could very well end right there after you get hit by their EA.

Something that happened quite often in this loketest was both players with low HP in the last round and then "IB overhead > activate GCOD > make next move whiff with AF+EA" would happen, leading to a full comeback due to AFEA's whole 4000 damage. That's not really something you can always avoid, can you?



5. Postscript

And there we have it. That was my explanation and study regarding BBCF's new EA system.

Remember that all of this is my own personal opinion on the matter. Once the game is out, we'll obviously have people who disagree with what's being said here.

The "That thing is strong! This one is weak!" kind of imformation fluttering around on release time can be confusing, but also part of the whole fun when it comes to finding out things about new games. I'm very excited for 11/19, once the game is out.



11/10, Hima

Edited by shtkn


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