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Mechanics of Mashing Out of Grab

Discussion in 'Melee Discussion' started by Sycorax, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. Sycorax

    Sycorax
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    Smash Journeyman

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    I couldn't find information about this so I figured it out myself to write up and put in the Melee Library. With this knowledge, you can come up with a way to efficiently mash the controller to break out of grabs that works for you.

    In the words of @schmooblidon, "When grabbed, you are given a mash out counter relative to your damage. Each frame, the counter decrements by 1, and an input will also decrement it by 6. When it reaches 0, you escape the grab." There are three main categories of controller inputs that all have their own rules: cstick+dpad, buttons, and control stick.

    The cstick and dpad do not count as inputs for mashing out of grabs. For the sake of completeness, I suppose it's worth mentioning that the Start button doesn't count for mashing out either.

    The buttons are A, B, X, Y, L, R, and Z. Any time one of these buttons is pressed, it will decrease your counter by 6. If two of these buttons are pressed on the same frame, only one input is counted and the mash out counter will decrease by 6. L and R count as the same button (X and Y do not). So, if you press and hold L, then mash R, only the first L input will count. If your press L, then on the next frame let go of L and press R, that will only count as one input. There is no distinction between light press and hard press on L and R. If the trigger is depressed at all, either just a bit or all the way down to digital click, it counts as a button input being held until released. Z is not a button itself, but a macro for A and lightshield. Therefore, it functionally counts as an A+L/R input on one frame. If you press Z+A or Z+L/R or Z+L/R+A on the same frame, then it will only count as one input.

    The control stick rules get tricky. They are very similar to the rules of multiple smash DI. I suggest you follow that link and take a look at the control stick input diagram. Basically, a smash input is required to count towards mashing out. You can either return the stick to neutral and then smash again or rotate it around the outside to yield more inputs. The rotation rules are similar to the multiple SDI rotation rules. You have to pass one of those arrows in the direction it is pointing in order to get another input. However, you cannot stay within the same quadrant of the control stick. For example, if you rotate back and forth between N, E, N, E, N, E, etc. that will yield only two inputs, once for the first north, and once for the first east. Swinging back and forth, e.g. N to S or E to W or E to NW, will yield lots of inputs, not just two. Rotating back and forth between two ordinal directions, e.g. NE to NW, will also yield lots of inputs. To put it another way, you must completely cross either the x- or y-axis in order to get another input.

    So those are the ways you can get inputs to mash out of grabs. The three big take-aways from this are to manage your button inputs so not to waste energy pressing extra buttons, to find a way to use the control stick that works for you, and to use both at the same time for the fastest mashing. Note: you may want to avoid using the control stick sometimes because you would rather be prepared to DI a throw and wiggling the stick may mess you up.

    To use the control stick, I recommend either rotating the control stick around in a circle or wiggling it back and forth. Which of those is faster will depend on your tech skill and what you have practiced.

    There are two popular methods for mashing buttons. They are swiping your thumb across the face of the controller so as to hit B, A, Y, and X. Another method is lay your thumb across the buttons and rock it back and forth. In addition to this, alternating mashing the L and R buttons will help. A similar method to the rocking is what I use. I lay my thumb across B, A, and X and shake my hand violently. One of the downsides to this is that it takes some time to put my hand in that position so if I am not expecting the grab my mashing can come too slowly. If you want visuals for these sorts of methods, check out this video. The video is for Smash 4 so don't pay attention to the rules of mashing, but you can see how he does the swiping and rocking motions that can be used in Melee.

    What methods do you use for mashing out? Are there any techniques I forgot?
     
    #1 Sycorax, Sep 17, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
    Bones0, r0se, schmooblidon and 3 others like this.
  2. Scaremonger

    Scaremonger
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    The control stick input frequency can be derived mathematically pretty simply.

    Assuming a uniform speed, and a control stick diameter of 1 inch...

    Circumference = pi*Diameter, so the circumference is just pi. That means the distance between each point is ~.8". So in theory, rotating the stick should be ~25% more efficient.

    However, if you do the QCDI motion, your frequency increases as you improve efficiency on the displacement from the stick gate. In theory, by doing QCDI, you should be able to approach 60 inputs per second, though I'm not sure how close you can get to that realistically.

    I think the crux lies within your right hand, since there are just more buttons on that side. Just based on intuition, the vast majority of wasted frames should come from moving fingers between buttons, so the best thing to do would probably be to claw as soon as you think you're going to get grabbed.

    2 conundrums:

    • I'm also not absolutely certain that wiggling back and forth really does have the same speed as rotating. I don't know of any evidence that supports the speed being different in a meaningful way though. Just thinking about it for a moment, though, I feel like rotating should actually be faster since it's more possible to put your whole arm into it.
    • I'm not sure if the wasted frames of changing grip would really be worth it. I feel like it should be, but it's not as easy to actually compute.
    Is there a program you could use to test APM on a controller? I feel like experimentation is the only way to really settle this lol.
     
  3. Sycorax

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    I think it really depends on person to person. Wiggling back and forth can be slow because you have to cover more distance per input, but it requires less dexterity (the muscle contractions and control are much simpler than rotating). Zhu is famous for being able to dashdance back and forth very quickly. QCDI seems really bad to me since the motion is harder than the others, and 60 times per second is a gross over estimate.
     
  4. Scaremonger

    Scaremonger
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    I don't think I really implied that you could actually get 60 inputs per second, I said you would approach it the more efficient the movement was. I clarified right after that I don't think you could get very close to 60 in reality.

    And ya I'm still unsure which is better between rolling and wiggling. When I said "put your whole arm into it", I meant you could make it an easier motion by moving the whole controller with your right arm, which would make the motion much simpler for your left thumb. From what I've seen, this seems to be what Westballz does, and the same motion can be used to roll your thumb across B -> A -> X.

    Really though, all of this is speculation and nothing can be confirmed until there's some way to track APM.
     
  5. Bones0

    Bones0
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    This sentence is misleading. It sounds like you're suggesting you have to smash the stick to get an input, when you can actually just rotate it, which is not generally considered a "smash input".
     
  6. tauKhan

    tauKhan
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    I disagree, since usually smash di is also said to require "smash input". There's also other "smash input" actions that can be performed by rotating stick. In the follow-up sentences #SplitsOnTrees specified what he meant exactly as well, so it's fine.
     
    DrinkingFood and Sycorax like this.

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