Calling all casuals and competitive players

CaptainAnime

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I want to enter the minds of casual players. Giving that they don't take the game as seriously, I understand when I see them play Smash with items on and on any stage. I've met casual players who understand the tournament rulesets for this game. However, I have met people (in fact recently) who just straight up talk trash about the fact that we ban items and stages when having everything on can still be "competitive". So I want to hear people's on why they think having items on and hazards can keep a competitive environment and also why advanced techniques (wavedashing in melee or attack cancelling in ultimate) "ruin" the game or something of the sort.

Note that I'm asking you to give your opinion and be respectful.
 

KoyPond

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I have to deal with this same problem. My friend and I were organizing a SSBU Tournament and he was going to put items on and a smashball. I was in total disagreement specifically because if you have items they change how the game is played. it is not about skill anymore, its about who can get the best item first. Same with stage hazards, people just play on any stage they want, when in reality if you choose a stage that favors your own character then it is unfair for the other player. This is my opinion, you don't have to listen to it, but I am just happy someone else is having this problem.
 

CaptainAnime

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I have to deal with this same problem. My friend and I were organizing a SSBU Tournament and he was going to put items on and a smashball. I was in total disagreement specifically because if you have items they change how the game is played. it is not about skill anymore, its about who can get the best item first. Same with stage hazards, people just play on any stage they want, when in reality if you choose a stage that favors your own character then it is unfair for the other player. This is my opinion, you don't have to listen to it, but I am just happy someone else is having this problem.
yea i have to agree with this. even if the purpose is to have fun and not for glory, it still isnt fun in the sense that it can create some unfair and distracting moments. unfortunately when i say something like this, casuals come at me and say "maybe u should get good" when clearly there is no getting good with items and hazards everywhere. they're not wrong to say that turning off items, and limiting the stage list goes against the game's intended purpose, but where that line ends is when they say "that's not how u play this game". there's no right or wrong way to play this game, otherwise, sakurai wouldnt have made it possible to customize rulesets in 1999. to put it in perspective, i think they may be annoyed at the fact that even nintendo has accepted our rulesets tbh
 

Quin

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Items give an unfair and random advantage. You want character vs character and player vs player, not character vs player vs items vs stages lol. For fun? Sure, turn it all on. For raw competitiveness and a fair match, turn it all off. Tournaments would be a joke with all of that on because it would just be a whole bunch of random stuff going on. Literally makes no sense.
 
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CaptainAnime

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Items give an unfair and random advantage. You want character vs character and player vs player, not character vs player vs items vs stages lol. For fun? Sure, turn it all on. For raw competitiveness and a fair match, turn it all off. Tournaments would be a joke with all of that on because it would just be a whole bunch of random stuff going on. Literally makes no sense.
ok i like this statement as well. ive heard some ridiculous things from people comparing the game to mario kart or even REAL sports. yes in mario kart, why would u turn off the items. like tbh, i cant imagine mario kart without the items but firstly, the way items work in mario kart is different in smash and secondly, mario kart is a racing game, smash is a fighting game. they're not comparable. as for real sports, yeah there could be rain but can u control that? no. there are a lot of outside factors in real sports that u cant control but smash devs give u control over whether or not u want items and the stage to play on. if the tournament was assessing skill, then having items on does indeed make it look like a joke. EVO 2008 brawl, some guy no one heard of beat Ken, the best melee player from 2003?-2006. it's moreso proof that items dont give an equal advantage to both players
 

Quin

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ok i like this statement as well. ive heard some ridiculous things from people comparing the game to mario kart or even REAL sports. yes in mario kart, why would u turn off the items. like tbh, i cant imagine mario kart without the items but firstly, the way items work in mario kart is different in smash and secondly, mario kart is a racing game, smash is a fighting game. they're not comparable. as for real sports, yeah there could be rain but can u control that? no. there are a lot of outside factors in real sports that u cant control but smash devs give u control over whether or not u want items and the stage to play on. if the tournament was assessing skill, then having items on does indeed make it look like a joke. EVO 2008 brawl, some guy no one heard of beat Ken, the best melee player from 2003?-2006. it's moreso proof that items dont give an equal advantage to both players
I agree. I can break down why that comparison to Mario Kart or even real sports is extremely illogical but I know you get the picture lol. Willing to debate anyone on this one.

I would to break down why the Mario Kart comparison is so bad lol...
 

CaptainAnime

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I agree. I can break down why that comparison to Mario Kart or even real sports is extremely illogical but I know you get the picture lol. Willing to debate anyone on this one.

I would to break down why the Mario Kart comparison is so bad lol...
im curious so plz enlighten me when u get the chance
 

Saikyoshi

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As someone who used to be embarrassingly anti-competitive myself, I can answer this.

• Casual and competitive players find very different aspects about the game appealing, to the point of seeing them as entirely different genres. Competitive players tend to be in it for the fighting, and casual players tend to be in it for the colorful cast and cathartic feedback. They don't see it as a test of skill, they see it as something quick to do when you have a bunch of friends over.
• Randomness to casual players is a plus, not a minus. They may not have the time, energy, will, or even desire to improve their skills, so games with a randomness factor appeal to them because the match isn't... over before it even starts, so to speak. With items and stage hazards, they have at least somewhat of a fighting chance to come out on top even if they're a newcomer against a very experienced player. In their eyes, if they need to train and study to not be humiliated in something they just want to do to relieve stress for a few minutes, why even bother playing at all? This is the specific factor that Sakurai was worried about the most in the period between Melee and Brawl. Contrary to popular belief, he has absolutely nothing against competitive players—during the Wii U era, after watching a tournament, he basically said he respects the players' skill, but playing that way just isn't for him personally—but he did feel that an insurmountable skill gap prevented the majority of the audience from being able to have fun at all. Like a major league sports team full of hulking professional athletes on steroids challenging an amateur sports team of middle schoolers just trying to enjoy their sunny Saturday in the park—the "steroids" in this case being advanced techniques and combos that do require strength, endurance, cunning, and reflexes well above what the average person can do without intense exercise on the players' part. It's not about "getting good" for these players—in situations like these, they are literally physically incapable of not being crushed.
• Many casual players feel it's disrespectful and insulting to the spirit of the franchise, twisting it into something it was never meant to be.
• Many casual players are very, very irritated by repetition, so the relatively limited pool of stages, characters, and music tends to grate on their nerves. (For me when I was like this, it was the Dream Land 64 theme specifically that I basically went "If I have to hear that damn song even one more time--!" with.)
• They feel that items and stage hazards are a significant part of the experience and to ignore them is at best a waste of the game.
• They see the idea of tier lists and stage lists as artificial gatekeeping by people who just want to police everyone else's experience. "Tryhards" who blindly follow stage lists/tier lists like scripture, demanding everyone else do the same, without actually knowing what they're for have tainted their experience in this regard further and basically given them evidence to strengthen the misconception.
• Bad blood left over from the Brawl days. The Melee fandom actually was incredibly toxic in the late 2000s, and many associate conpetitive play as a whole with the jerks who were supporting competitive play then. (I'd argue the shoe is on the other foot now and it's the casual fanbase that's become ludicrously toxic and intolerant in modern times, but I digress.)
• Those who speak out against GameCube controllers see it as a refusal to accept change, seeing us as no different from old men who insist that games stopped being good after the Atari 2600. "Nostalgia-blind" is a word thrown around a lot—by holding onto the past, to them, we're completely ignoring progress. (And to play devil's advocate for a moment, they do have a point about the GC controller being outdated; most modern games cannot be played with it due to having several buttons missing compared to any other modern controller—namely, L1/LB, Select/Minus/Back, L3/LSB, R3/RSB, and PS/Guide/Home. I would suggest a third-party GC-shaped Pro Controller like the ones HORI makes instead for this reason.)

As much as Brawl sacrificed from the conpetitive crowd, it filled the casual niche flawlessly with its forgiving nature that makes people who mess up not feel like it's hopeless to even try to make a comeback, and big, flashy, high-feedback hits that sent enemies far away and just felt good to land. There's a reason that Wii U/3DS wasn't NEARLY as well-recieved even by casual players. There's a reason characters like Ganondorf are so popular casually—for them, feedback is everything, and with most fighting games, they see individual attacks as being relatively light and dinky with barely any effect on the opponent and, thus, rather boring to see and do.
 
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CaptainAnime

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As someone who used to be embarrassingly anti-competitive myself, I can answer this.

• Casual and competitive players find very different aspects about the game appealing, to the point of seeing them as entirely different genres. Competitive players tend to be in it for the fighting, and casual players tend to be in it for the colorful cast and cathartic feedback. They don't see it as a test of skill, they see it as something quick to do when you have a bunch of friends over.
• Randomness to casual players is a plus, not a minus. They may not have the time, energy, will, or even desire to improve their skills, so games with a randomness factor appeal to them because the match isn't... over before it even starts, so to speak. With items and stage hazards, they have at least somewhat of a fighting chance to come out on top even if they're a newcomer against a very experienced player. In their eyes, if they need to train and study to not be humiliated in something they just want to do to relieve stress for a few minutes, why even bother playing at all? This is the specific factor that Sakurai was worried about the most in the period between Melee and Brawl. Contrary to popular belief, he has absolutely nothing against competitive players—during the Wii U era, after watching a tournament, he basically said he respects the players' skill, but playing that way just isn't for him personally—but he did feel that an insurmountable skill gap prevented the majority of the audience from being able to have fun at all. Like a major league sports team full of hulking professional athletes on steroids challenging an amateur sports team of middle schoolers just trying to enjoy their sunny Saturday in the park—the "steroids" in this case being advanced techniques and combos that do require strength, endurance, cunning, and reflexes well above what the average person can do without intense exercise on the players' part. It's not about "getting good" for these players—in situations like these, they are literally physically incapable of not being crushed.
• Many casual players feel it's disrespectful and insulting to the spirit of the franchise, twisting it into something it was never meant to be.
• Many casual players are very, very irritated by repetition, so the relatively limited pool of stages, characters, and music tends to grate on their nerves. (For me when I was like this, it was the Dream Land 64 theme specifically that I basically went "If I have to hear that damn song even one more time--!" with.)
• They feel that items and stage hazards are a significant part of the experience and to ignore them is at best a waste of the game.
• They see the idea of tier lists and stage lists as artificial gatekeeping by people who just want to police everyone else's experience. "Tryhards" who blindly follow stage lists/tier lists like scripture, demanding everyone else do the same, without actually knowing what they're for have tainted their experience in this regard further and basically given them evidence to strengthen the misconception.
• Bad blood left over from the Brawl days. The Melee fandom actually was incredibly toxic in the late 2000s, and many associate conpetitive play as a whole with the jerks who were supporting competitive play then. (I'd argue the shoe is on the other foot now and it's the casual fanbase that's become ludicrously toxic and intolerant in modern times, but I digress.)
• Those who speak out against GameCube controllers see it as a refusal to accept change, seeing us as no different from old men who insist that games stopped being good after the Atari 2600. "Nostalgia-blind" is a word thrown around a lot—by holding onto the past, to them, we're completely ignoring progress. (And to play devil's advocate for a moment, they do have a point about the GC controller being outdated; most modern games cannot be played with it due to having several buttons missing compared to any other modern controller—namely, L1/LB, Select/Minus/Back, L3/LSB, R3/RSB, and PS/Guide/Home. I would suggest a third-party GC-shaped Pro Controller like the ones HORI makes instead for this reason.)

As much as Brawl sacrificed from the conpetitive crowd, it filled the casual niche flawlessly with its forgiving nature that makes people who mess up not feel like it's hopeless to even try to make a comeback, and big, flashy, high-feedback hits that sent enemies far away and just felt good to land. There's a reason that Wii U/3DS wasn't NEARLY as well-recieved even by casual players. There's a reason characters like Ganondorf are so popular casually—for them, feedback is everything, and with most fighting games, they see individual attacks as being relatively light and dinky with barely any effect on the opponent and, thus, rather boring to see and do.
so ur points actually kinda relate how i view the casual smash community. ive found various things from them even on this site where some will just say things like "competitive players glitch abuse" or "smash tierlists are inaccurate because we dont even play the game the right way" or "melee is stupid" or something like this. i feel that the casual players tend to be more opinionated and "toxic" about things like this mainly because their fanbase is much MUCH bigger and i feel that they are vocal about over competitive players speaking against casual play. BUT, a question that isnt even being asked is what makes a casual and a competitive player. i know some people who play this game fun. they're not like me who want to go pro so u could call them casuals.....BUT, they dont play with items nor stages with hazards.
 

Saikyoshi

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so ur points actually kinda relate how i view the casual smash community. ive found various things from them even on this site where some will just say things like "competitive players glitch abuse" or "smash tierlists are inaccurate because we dont even play the game the right way" or "melee is stupid" or something like this. i feel that the casual players tend to be more opinionated and "toxic" about things like this mainly because their fanbase is much MUCH bigger and i feel that they are vocal about over competitive players speaking against casual play. BUT, a question that isnt even being asked is what makes a casual and a competitive player. i know some people who play this game fun. they're not like me who want to go pro so u could call them casuals.....BUT, they dont play with items nor stages with hazards.
I'd consider it a scale.

I started thinking it over, and tried to see if I could measure it somehow.
https://smashboards.com/threads/casual-competitive-political-compass-test.501175/
 

Another Player

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We can render no judgment against gamers in this way. If it's safe and makes them happy I don't see a reason to interfere with it. All I can do is try to convince them of things about games. They've agreed and refused without any harm with me.
 

Swamp Sensei

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Wait, Nintendo actually accepted our Ruleset? When? Where?
They haven't.

They get something close, but its lacking a lot of things that make competitive smash what it is, like stage bans, stage selection and the like.



To OP, it sounds like you have some baggage and have fallen victim to the cycle. A casual hears a competitive player trash their favorite style of play. They get mad and do the same thing to a different competitive player. Then the cycle continues until people are convinced the other side is a bunch of bung holes trying to ruin the game.

I love Smash, I've played it most of my life. I don't have the opportunity to go to many tournaments but when I do, I place very well. I've played it with all sorts of people, both casual and competitive. Most people just want to have fun. People have fun doing different things.

Are standard tournament rules fun? Yes!

Are item filled free for all tournaments fun? Yes!

That's the beauty of Smash, there are so many ways to have fun!

But if you get so defensive and tribalistic about it, no one is going to have fun.

So, consider your own baggage and self police yours actions. Try not to be a reason some casual hates competitive Smash.

Cause there is some big straw manning going on in this thread. Let me tell ya...
 
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Pokelego999

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Honestly, I understand the whole advantage and gameplay differences granted by items and stages. However, I think it's a breath of fresh air to play random stages and have items on. Makes it much more fun.
As a whole, I don't give a damn about tier lists. I mainly play low tiers and wreck people with them. It dosen't matter what character you play, what matters is your skill with the character.
 
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