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Strong Bad

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SB, what do you think of Ultimate in terms of mechanics? Personally, I’m not fond of it, and stopped playing it.
I think it's fairly well executed for what they're trying to do with the game. Lots of good changes, a couple eyebrow raisers (why can't i run through people :(), overall a pretty good improvement over Smash Wii U. My fundamental qualms with the mechanics are not likely to be addressed and I knew that before it even got announced so I was pleasantly surprised by most of the improvements.
But pls remove the hold buffer.... brawl's buffer system was the best ever in Smash.
 

Zoa

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I was listening to a lot of the professionals before the launch of Ultimate, as I wanted the most informative views possible. I really didn't like Smash 4 at all, and went in with similar expectations with Ultimate after hearing Sakurai mention they were reusing assets of Smash 4. I heard a lot of things like ladder combos being removed, and throws being nerfed overall. And the general basics about being able to do most anything out of dash.

But like a month into playing the game, I realized there wasn't too much improvement. General speed buffs for the cast, low lag on aerials matching L-cancels, and whatnot were really, really good additions. But then I started looking into extra little things, like hitstun, and I just stopped playing it altogether. The punish game feels extremely shallow starting at mid percents. Moves still possess insane knockback from Smash 4, coupled with balloon knockback accelerating fighters to the apex of their knockback even faster, and it makes it difficult to take stocks/combo later on. It became rather neutral heavy, and with the ledge mechanics being largely beneficial for how powerful recoveries are, it made just everything live forever in our region. Plus we took a look at the hitstun changes, and noticed how balloon knockback actually adversely impacts knockback overall. I think our TO said Ultimate has something like the second lowest amount of hitstun just after Brawl at higher percents.

I don't think the additions to Ultimate really did much to address the major problems with Smash 4. The end result was still the same: neutral heavy with stray hits, or maybe one to two hit combos.
 

Strong Bad

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Sure, but I think all that lines up with what they were trying to achieve with the game. And a lot of people like it a lot! It's not what I'm looking for in a competitive platform fighter (I've made ~two of them with rather different mechanics already) but it's still a lot of fun. A lot of what makes a platform fighter compelling is still there in fundamental form. It just doesn't fulfill what we've come to appreciate about specific ones. It has other things to offer though and if it had come out 3 or 4 years ago I'd probably have tried to compete in it.

FWIW I think the knockback mechanic change is actually good for the game. Melee/Brawl's KB formula I feel works out pretty well due to the 4:3 aspect ratio of the consoles. When scaling up to 16:9 with a lot more horizontal space, the same launch speeds end up seeming rather slow. There were lots of instances in Smash Wii U where someone would be hit too far away to follow up on, but they'd spend a lot of time in hitstun to arrive at their destination from the effects of knockback. This resulted in a lot of time where no meaningful interactions are happening, and combat doesn't resume for a while. In Smash Ultimate the action generally resumes rather quickly if a followup isn't possible.

Neutral heavy games can still be interesting, skillful, and fun. They may not be the kind of game for you though. Have you explored any traditional fighters? Or does the lack of a mechanic like DI make the combos there less interesting to you?
 

Zoa

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Sure, but I think all that lines up with what they were trying to achieve with the game. And a lot of people like it a lot! It's not what I'm looking for in a competitive platform fighter (I've made ~two of them with rather different mechanics already) but it's still a lot of fun. A lot of what makes a platform fighter compelling is still there in fundamental form. It just doesn't fulfill what we've come to appreciate about specific ones. It has other things to offer though and if it had come out 3 or 4 years ago I'd probably have tried to compete in it.

FWIW I think the knockback mechanic change is actually good for the game. Melee/Brawl's KB formula I feel works out pretty well due to the 4:3 aspect ratio of the consoles. When scaling up to 16:9 with a lot more horizontal space, the same launch speeds end up seeming rather slow. There were lots of instances in Smash Wii U where someone would be hit too far away to follow up on, but they'd spend a lot of time in hitstun to arrive at their destination from the effects of knockback. This resulted in a lot of time where no meaningful interactions are happening, and combat doesn't resume for a while. In Smash Ultimate the action generally resumes rather quickly if a followup isn't possible.

Neutral heavy games can still be interesting, skillful, and fun. They may not be the kind of game for you though. Have you explored any traditional fighters? Or does the lack of a mechanic like DI make the combos there less interesting to you?
Oh certainly. I think several of the changes were a step in the right direction for faster gameplay. I'm glad people enjoy the game for what it is. Preferences vary based on the person.

You would be correct about appreciating specific nuances. I disagree with a lot of the changes implemented in Ultimate, and that's what impacts my view of the game. Some feel absolutely nonsensical like rage, or the changes to perfect shield to the current parry system. And some don't feel like they directly address a lot of the issues for follow ups, or to take a stock, or reduce the amount of neutral at higher percents. R3D3MON put it best a while back, in that we need higher percent follow ups and kill confirms because Smash is a platform fighter. We can't poke our enemies until their health runs out.

But you do have a good point about the increased speed overall. The neutral does resume faster. Also I have nothing against neutral being heavy depending on MU. I used to play Link for like 15 years in Smash from game to game. Projectiles in neutral is his thing :p. But yeah, I used to watch a lot of Injustice 2, and I've played Mortal Kombat years ago. Probably going to get the new one, too. Playable Shao Kahn is too good to pass up.

The lack of a DI mechanic , or something similar, doesn't impact my viewpoint of other fighters. The problem with the neutral I have is that it doesn't lead to much. I used to play Brawl competitively in my region for some years. It's pretty defensive, which is why I ended up stopping it, and just sticking to PM (you guys are amazing for doing this btw). The same happened a lot in Smash 4. It was pretty neutral heavy, with rather limited reward of hits. Especially at higher levels of play. This is what I have a problem with Ultimate. While faster, it seems to fall into the same issue as the last two games, and that's the reward for your hits. This ties back into what R3D3MON said, and while you are right that neutral resumes faster, the mechanics of balloon knockback makes rewarding hits at any level of play pretty abysmal from what I've seen in a bit of tournament play, and anecdotal experience. It's more or less how often neutral occurs with lack of a reward later on, and how it stalls out matches.
 

Venclaire

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project+ ganon is nut

Also, on the subject of Ultimate combos, I don't think we'll ever get a Melee/PM-esque combos again without making the hitstun frustratingly long or removing the ability to airdodge out of tumble, which doesn't seem like something they plan to do. Personally, I enjoy playing in Ultimate's combo system, the one airdodge rule helps a lot with keeping strings going. It isn't my favorite, but I prefer it over Smash 4 definitely. However, I'm definitely biased as there wasn't an inch of Smash 4 that I liked
 

Zoa

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project+ ganon is nut

Also, on the subject of Ultimate combos, I don't think we'll ever get a Melee/PM-esque combos again without making the hitstun frustratingly long or removing the ability to airdodge out of tumble, which doesn't seem like something they plan to do. Personally, I enjoy playing in Ultimate's combo system, the one airdodge rule helps a lot with keeping strings going. It isn't my favorite, but I prefer it over Smash 4 definitely. However, I'm definitely biased as there wasn't an inch of Smash 4 that I liked
Agreed. Hitstun canceling and dodging out of tumble should go. I really think with just those two gone, and rage possibly, the combo game will open up a LOT more. Too bad they’ve been in Smash for more than a decade, and between three games now. Also wasn’t fond of Smash 4 myself. Absolutely refused to play it.
 

Zoa

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It feels weird coming back to Lucario after playing Link for so long to regain some of my fundamentals. Like how is this a character? He’s so crazy. I love it.

Minus the charged Aura Sphere nerfs and removal of wall cling tho
 

Zoa

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Well, I almost made the writing team. Was just rejected because of the sheer number of applicants. Strong Bad, I would’ve come after you or Bazkip for my first interview. ;-;
 

Venclaire

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Damn, you just made me realize, I really hope a handful PM players got on the writing team for Smashboards, would love to see PM interviews again
 
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I'm trying to put together a build that changes as little as possible from Vanilla PM for a friend, just:
• Re-enabling Stage Builder and removing its limits
• Adding the noticeably missing alternate music to Fountain of Dreams and Bowser's Castle
• Changing the song names to match the new ones they got in Ultimate (e.g. "Corneria (Melee)" → "Star Fox Medley")
• Making Brawl (Plus)'s FD available as an FD alt and Drac's available as a Luigi's Mansion alt

...but I keep getting carried away and tacking more stuff on, replacing more songs, adding more stages... >_>
 
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Zoa

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Yeah, I was among the top 13 to make it to the finals. Just rejected based on the number of applicants. There's still a chance I can get on. If so, I really wanted interviews to be one of the things I would do the most. I've actually had a bunch of questions I would ask Strong Bad, SOJ, and the other members of the former PMDT about how it was working on the project, and how they decided what should go through, and what shouldn't. Also I wanted to interview Bazkip about what it's like being on the rankings team, and what tournaments to look out for in the future.

My focus was really going to be on Project M and some Super Smash Flash 2. I want to bring more attention to both of these games, and get more people into playing them. Part of what I would do is post on here about what the community wanted to see, and take ideas from you all. So that way there'd be something new each week to shake things up.
 

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Three years ago, I would have agreed with you. But SSF2 and I have a history.

Signed, a former SSF2 BR member, who has very good reasons for the "former" part.
 

Saikyoshi

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The SSF2 community is the most toxic out of any Smash subfandom there is. It had been a long time coming, as there got to be a huge split in the community around 2015 or so, started when an early build of Beta was leaked. Most people sided with the leakers, and proudly bashed new players for their playstyles, criticizing everything the developers did, starting fights just to start fights. Especially because a lot of the players they were bashing were from Latin America, since SSF2 is popular there—yeah, they were a bunch of racists. They claimed it was because of lag that the distance caused in online play, but I didn't believe it; why aren't they complaining about European players in that case?

They got away with everything because, even if they're punished, they still win. This part of the community treated the banned users like heroes, and a whole underground community formed which actually became more popular than the main one among major users, though they remained closely tied.

My quitting the BR in particular was because once they set their sights on you, there is no getting rid of them. It had gotten to the point where people were doxxing members of the community they didn't like, and I had a strong feeling that I was going to be next. I figured I'd better burn the bridge now before I leave a paper trail on it.
This was in July 2017. I've only touched the game once since then, and that was about a week ago to take some measurements for Stage Builder.

I thought it would calm down over time, but no. It got even worse since I left. A friend of mine, a huge persona non grata in the SSF2 underground, was ganged up on and bullied so much that he attempted suicide last year. He survived, but he fell into a coma and couldn't tell me until months later.

The developers are strongly against all this going on and always have been, but they're powerless to do anything to stop it. Not for lack of trying. So I really can't blame them.
 
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Zoa

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That's horrible beyond words. It sounds a lot like the current culture war going on with doxxing and censorship everywhere. Good on you for looking at the writing on the wall, and getting the **** out when you could. Even if it's someone you vehemently disagree with, doxxing is crossing a line so personal. Also I'm glad your friend is alive. I've personally struggled with that many times in the past, and came near to it each time. It's not something I would wish on anyone.
 

Venclaire

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So, do we have a tournament thread for PM anywhere? I've been wondering if there were any PM regionals going on soon, or any PM tournaments at all at bigger regional/majors.

Trying to go out with a friend but they only play Ultimate lol
 

Zoa

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Ah yes, a high dash speed and everything being cancelable into command grab/invincible dash/CC-beating Dsmash, and a dtilt that meteors at the tip against grounded opponents. A recipe for a poor neutral game.
Don't forget CC beating usmash, projectile with an FAF of 30, second highest initial dash speed, fastest dash acceleration, and ninth fastest dash overall of any character.
 

Venclaire

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Probably redundant to ask, but is Falcon a good co-main with Donkey Kong? I've been playing Falcon since I started in Melee in 2014. Just recently realized "Wait, I should probably try playing Falcon as-well".

I imagine he is, seeing as he is one of the best characters in the game lol
 

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I wondered for a long time, since the SSBU days, why nobody's bothered to recreate Town & City, or something similar, for a Smashville alt.
I believe it's the only currently-legal stage in the entire series that doesn't have a Brawl modded version.

I'd try it myself, but I have no friggin' idea how to even begin modding stages. I tried to look it up before, but I couldn't understand a lick of it.
 
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Strong Bad

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Probably redundant to ask, but is Falcon a good co-main with Donkey Kong? I've been playing Falcon since I started in Melee in 2014. Just recently realized "Wait, I should probably try playing Falcon as-well".

I imagine he is, seeing as he is one of the best characters in the game lol
It can be useful. Notably, ThundeRz use(d) this setup. However, their matchups spreads aren't vastly different to my knowledge, mostly since they have a similar archetype (with DK leaning further into it than Falcon). There aren't really all that many characters that beat DK but lose to Falcon. The reverse is more likely (or are a case where DK does better than Falcon). Maybe like, Peach, Ivysaur, Zelda, Toon Link? However we've seen that all of those matchups are doable with DK.
 

Venclaire

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Thanks Strong Bad, I felt it was a little bit redundant maining them both, especially since it already looked like they have similar weaknesses lol.

I'll probably find some personal matchups that I find easier on Falcon, like Ganondorf or something

pm is sick
 

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Would you guys consider the PM Netplay stages necessary for a "complete but standard" build?

I don't want things to get too cluttered (I'm looking at you, Legacy XP), so I'm trying to keep differences from vanilla pretty minimal. But I don't want anything considered fairly universal to be missing, either.

EDIT:... ah, heck, never mind, no use in fooling myself. Giving stages their missing alts wouldn't hurt, I guess. As long as I'm not too conspicuous about it.
 
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Saikyoshi

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Would love netplay stages. I love them a lot. But the PMBR TE stages (I think they're called that?) are definitely necessary
Where do I find those?

...it looks like I might have to end up squeezing in a third alt slot...

Well, while I'm adding third alts, might as well grab some Brawl Plus and Brawl Minus stages, too... though I could never get 75M Minus or Lavaville to work...

EDIT: ...I have just been informed that I have a really old build of PM Netplay. Oops.

EDIT 2: ...I'm starting to gettin' kind of overwhelmed here. Sheesh... that's a lot of options...
 
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Zoa

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Aaaaaaw yeah. Found local tournaments out here, and some we can travel to. Got some PM buddies already to grind out MUs with. Any of you in central Florida? Headed out to Johnny B's on the 22nd for the bi-weekly. Haven't entered a PM tournament in years. I AM BACK BOIZ
 
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