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"Match Up Strategy Development" by Lord Knight
Kuuhaku posted a article in HomeOriginal Document Re-posted Transcript On match up strategy development - (this is more for intermediate level players, but I would also recommend this for beginners): If you've been playing/paying attention to fighting games for any amount of time, you know that match up knowledge is critical to any sort of success. That being said, you can't go to a tournament without hearing people talk about lack of match up knowledge. First off, you have to understand the difference between: "I don't know the match up" and "We don't have a (insert character) player, so I don't know the match up". To be frank, at a tournament level, neither statement is acceptable. However, at a personal level (as in, your personal growth as a player), the first statement is far preferable to the second. Saying "I don't know the match up" suggests that you don't know it now, but you'll learn it eventually. Not knowing a match up is a pretty valid excuse for a loss - not having answers for an opponent's tools against your own almost guarantees defeat. Saying "We don't have a (insert character) player in our area, so I don't know the match up" suggests to me that you not only haven't looked into the character, but you don't plan to because someone who doesn't play the character isn't readily available to you. As your learning a fighting game, I think it's quite important to have at least a baseline knowledge of the entire cast. I go out of my way to play the "weird" characters in a game (think Fuerte, Bed Man, or Arakune) so I don't get caught off guard early in a game's life. This is my personal process for learning a match up. You don't have to follow it to the letter, but if you don't have some sort of structure, this might help you. 1) Playing - this is obvious. You play against the character and write down/keep in mind what you are having trouble with in between games. It doesn't matter whether the matches take place IRL or online, because the whole point is to get comfortable with your tools against your opponents. Winning doesn't matter at this point. Usually, whatever I have at top of mind after matches are the things I review first. 2) Analyzing matches - Since I get a good amount of practice online, sometimes I save replays and look over a couple of matches. If you play online, I highly recommend saving replays. If not, recording a set works as well. Usually, my memory of a match doesn't really align with what happens, and there couple be points that I need to cover that I could've missed. 3) Watching videos - This kind of depends on the game and the character, but if possible, try to watch strong players of your character play the match up. I especially look for whatever things I was having problems with in step 1. If the character is new or no one really plays them for some reason, then this step might not be available. It's also important to note that just "watching" videos isn't enough - you want to analyze matches carefully for the points you're looking for. 4) Reflection - Try to put everything together all the information you've gathered for the next set of games. 5) Play again - Try out your answers and thoughts in matches. Here, you're just trying to apply what I learned. Again, winning isn't totally the goal, but you should hope to notice some sort of return on results. 6) Reflect again - The more you cycle through these steps, the more tiny details and nuance you'll begin to understand on the match. You can slowly work towards refining your strategy to perfection as long as you keep thinking about how the character interacts. Usually I break matches down into: Neutral - Full Screen/Mid Range/Close Range Anti-Air Air vs Air Offense (my pressure) - special things that work on this specific character Defense (their pressure) - how to deal with their offensive tools Setplay - special things I can do to them on knockdown - dealing with their reversals, any special things I can do to them, etc Their Setplay - the same as above, but how to defend against it If I have some sort of character specific tool (for example, Millia's Pin), I'll have a section on how to use that against the character as well. Anyway, I hope this helps.
"Training Mode For Beginner and Intermediate Players" by Lord Knight
Kuuhaku posted a article in HomeOriginal Document Re-posted Transcript Training mode for beginner and intermediate players: Things you can practice in training mode 1) Combo practice - Obvious function. - Combos are integral to modern fighting games. - Consistency is key. Generally, I aim for around 95%+ consistency on standard combos, 70%+ on "hard" stuff. - Keep in mind that "hard" is subjective depending on your execution level. - If you're trying to learn something difficult or unusual, practicing a lot is good, but give yourself a breather every once in a while. Give your hands time to recover and ingrain what you've practiced. For example, when I picked up Valk in CP 1.0, I couldn't do his wolf 5C > wolf 5C, which is pretty much necessary to play him. When I did grind combos, I'd always dedicate an arbitrary amount of time (let's say, an hour or so) to work on this specific motion - and no more. I try to allocate a specific amount of time because personally, if I don't get something after practicing it in one sitting for a while, I get frustrated. Basically, include breaks in your practice time so that you don't burn out. - Consider combo selection. The "goal" of combos can vary depending on the game, but generally your goal is to maximize while maintaining an advantageous position. If your game has a burst, you can try to explore more burst safe routes as well. 2) Match Up Strategy Development - I spend a ton of time doing this. - Perfecting and practicing Setplay. You should know exactly what to do against whatever character when you knock them down, and what options they have to defend against you. This is a highly advantageous situation for you, and you should try to maximize your return as much as possible. Depending on the character you're playing, you might not get mixup per se, but you should be able to establish a safe offense. If you don't know what to do, you should definitely take the time to figure it out. - Move/hitbox exploration - Sounds simple, but actually takes time and has many variables. At the beginning, you want to get familiar and comfortable with your character's moveset. As fighting game players, we're quick to identify uses for attacks and label them as useful or useless, but as time goes on, a move can evolve. Depending on the game, you can test your moves against different universal defensive options, how different system mechanics work against each other, etc. For example, in Arc Sys games, I always try to find ways to make my opponent's Counter Assault (or Dead Angle, or Alpha Counter, or w/e) whiff using an attack, instead of hard baiting. 3) General problem solving - I spend a lot of time doing this as well. This ties into match up strategy development, but sometimes as soon as a set of online matches are over, I'll go straight into training mode to try to replicate what happened and flesh out potential responses. I know that training mode varies by game, but there's (probably) a way to replicate the situation. If there's something you don't know how to do, ask someone for help! Don't be afraid to reach out to other players to get an explanation on how to do things. It's much better than half-assing your recording and getting answers that are essentially wrong. - This also ties into experimentation. In my mind, "match up strategy development" and "general problem solving" are a little separate. So when I'm trying to solve a problem, sometimes I'll try really unusual things to see whether or not it will work. As in, when you're trying to solve a problem, it's kind of easier to "experiment" than just going in and messing around (although there's nothing wrong with that). - Finally, I want to add that while you can't practice neutral alone, you can definitely use training mode to find answers to specific neutral tools. This is kind of simple process - you play > you have a problem against x ground normal or jump in > you go to training mode to figure out how to respond if your initial response doesn't work > repeat. tl;dr 1) Combo practice 2) Match up strategy development 3) Problem Solving/Experimentation