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Simple Effective Melee Advice

MookieRah

Kinda Sorta OK at Smash
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
5,384
Location
Umeå, Sweden
I was talking to a friend of mine on AIM and I gave him some simple but good advice in regards to improving your smash game. Keep in mind, this is stuff that I learned myself, and may or may not work for you; however, I'm pretty sure it's quite universal.

Dan2GSSM: eh, some of my friends are reluctant to play me...
MookieRah: ah, then they aren't the type for tournament smash then
Dan2GSSM: they're not quite "hardcore" or anything like that
MookieRah: if they aren't willing to put in at least a little time practicing higher level tech stuff then they won't ever get very good
Dan2GSSM: lol, true...
MookieRah: it's really not asking much
MookieRah: a lot of people overtrain tech skill
MookieRah: all you really need is about 5-10 minutes per day
MookieRah: you have to build muscle memory and stuff like that
MookieRah: people who will practice l-canceling for an hour aren't getting much out of it XD
Dan2GSSM: I find that trying to get better at ssbm is a lot like trying to get stronger at hte gym...
MookieRah: yeah, it's a lot like that.
MookieRah: you are better off practicing tech skill for 5-10 minutes, waiting 30 minutes to an hour, and doing it again for 5-10 more minutes
Dan2GSSM: lol, ok, i'll try that
MookieRah: if you practice things too much you build up bad habbits
MookieRah: you don't want to just be running through motions and patterns on your opponent
MookieRah: you just need to learn "how" to do things
Dan2GSSM: that's very true
MookieRah: also, when you play your friends don't play to win
MookieRah: play to learn
MookieRah: try applying the things you practice, focus on problems in your play
MookieRah: these are matches against your friends, you shouldn't be focussed on winning all the time
MookieRah: if you do you will do 2 things: discourage them by beating them more and stunting your training
Dan2GSSM: you speak the truth
MookieRah: meh, it's not that crazy, lol
MookieRah: but i wish i had someone to tell this to me
Dan2GSSM: i can understand that
MookieRah: one major thing to focus on is your observation skills
MookieRah: look for oppertunities like missed techs and what not
MookieRah: even if you aren't fast enough to react to them look for it, you have to practice looking stuff
MookieRah: but after a while it all becomes second nature
MookieRah: most mindgames too, become second nature
Dan2GSSM: i've just started to notice things like that
MookieRah: in the beginning it requires a lot of thought
MookieRah: but after you are used to particular strategies you just go into action
MookieRah: too much thought is bad, too little thought is bad
MookieRah: however; it's better to think too much than too little
MookieRah: these are things that for the longest time i didn't practice or try to implement
MookieRah: i was just playing reactive and with my instincts
MookieRah: it just came to me one day on a whim
Dan2GSSM: whims are funny things like that
MookieRah: yeah
MookieRah: i was ****ing around
MookieRah: i have said this on the boards many times
MookieRah: the best way to work on these things is just to **** around with dudes
MookieRah: don't try to win, try to make them look stupid
Dan2GSSM: lol
MookieRah: you'll be amazed at how well you can observe and take advantage of things if your goal is just to make them feel ********
MookieRah: don't worry about trying to implement these things all at once though
MookieRah: focus on one thing at a time
MookieRah: it will all come with due time, no need to rush it
MookieRah: almost anyone can be incredibly good at this game
MookieRah: it's just that some people have an easier time learning it
MookieRah: a lot of potentially great people tried to get too good too fast, got frustrated, and quit
MookieRah: don't be potentially great
MookieRah: be great, and don't worry
MookieRah: have fun with it
 

Ironclad

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
111
Location
Olympia, WA
Pretty good stuff, very useful for someone like me, just starting out. I think I'm guilty of trying to get good too fast, I do practice techs for like an hour sometimes. I guess I'll have to stop doing that. I don't think I'm going to get frustrated and quit tho cause I love this game too much.

Yeah I'm too lazy to read so many, many tiny lines, could you uh summarize that for me?
In the time it took you to post that, you probably could've read it.
 

FireBomb

Smash Lord
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
1,278
Location
Ending your game.
The basic idea is...
If you are a veteran to the game, keep playing against your friends and don't overtrain when you are playing yourself. Focus on their fight patterns and predict what they'll do next. Playing for fun will actually make you learn more than playing to win.
If you are new to the game, don't get discouraged if you aren't good at it right away. Keep trying and don't quit...greatness take time.
That's it in a nutshell I think.
 

MookieRah

Kinda Sorta OK at Smash
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
5,384
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Umeå, Sweden
OR, you could all practice 6 hours a day and then take out Mookie in pools at the next FC.
High level fox tech skill is in a different realm of what I am discussing for the most part. I am talking mainly about general tech skill and the like. I still believe that the small amount of practice with downtime yeilds more results than continuous play.
Also, Cunning if ****ing badass. I'm good, but he is crazy. That doesn't make my advice less valid, it just means that Cunning is better than I am :-P.

Here are a few other things dealing with the growth of a player.

Once someone makes the transition from casualy to tournament play and is making a serious attempt to get better their overall skill in the game will recrease rapidly. Most of this is due to an increase in tech skill and the application of various higher level techniques. A lot of players begin to think at this point that they are incredibly badass, and tend to get cocky. This is more prevalent than ever before, due to the large amounts of videos online. It's easy to increase your skill early on due to mimicking techniques and combos off already skilled players. Due to this incredibly rapid gain in skill, a player will believe that they are indeed special and capable or ****** known great players: IE Ken, Azen, NEO, SoraKeybladeMaster(ROFL), etc or that they will be able to in the near futuer. Players at this level don't understand that once they top out on their tech skill that they will hit a plateau. They don't realize that the better you get at the game the slower your skills progress.

Once you get to the point that you hit plateaus it is asign that you are becoming a more mature smasher, in terms of level of play. Often times this frustrates players, cause the things that further your improvement are more abstract and conceptual things as opposed to simply practicing tech skill. A lot of players will hit their first plateau and not know what to do. Others make the transition more seemless, as mindgames, strategies, and just general game psychology comes naturally to them. A lot of times the players who had a harder time with tech skill tend to improve faster once they hit their first plateau. It's important for those who have a hard time in the beginning to know that they may not fall behind to some of their contemporaries in the long run, and that players who are progressing quickly in the beginning that they might hit some rough spots. Whatever the case, whatever the cause, know that you will hit a plateau, and that your skills won't continue to increase as rapidly as before.

Once you hit a plateau, from my experience and from talking to some of my friends about this, you seem to improve in stages rather than gradually. Sometimes you will stop playing for a while, pick it up, and just end up being better than before for no aparent reason. My theory on this is that during your absense of playing you somehow manage to drop habbits of bad play. Also, it's the same as the previous concept with tech skill, that practicing in small amounts and having down time is more effective than non-stop playing. These are all just theories, but this is the most common way I myself have improved, and it's still a mystery to me as to why it happens this way.

Another thing that will lead to improvement is simply a fluke in play that makes you understand a new element to the game that was previously either misunderstood or you were oblivious to. Most mindgames and newer, more tricky, techniques will come from some of the stupidest ****. Also, you might realize something small, like "hey, if they tech standing up and I time it right, I can smash someone out of a standing dodge." A lot of times the player will have "thought" they have known of a concept but haven't really grasped it. That's why you see a lot of midrange players having incredible game theory advice. You can understand something completely and implement it horribly.

Things like these come on a whim, and while they are small they defintely affect ones gameplay. Know that once your tech skill is developed, that the only thing left to truely expand on ARE these little things. These little things, while seperate, don't amount to much, but when they are all implemented together it can turn someone from barely winning, to absolutely ****** someone.

Always, always, always, look for these small nuances in the game, for they are the things that really take you to the next level. The discovery and the implementation of this is what makes the top players top and what keep them on the top. Whatever you do, don't get discouraged along the way, and be sure to get as much advice and help as you can. Nobody is going to question your pride for asking for help, and nobody will claim you to be a wuss when you progress much faster than those who have too much pride.
 

HylianLord

Smash Ace
Joined
Nov 2, 2005
Messages
541
Location
Cupertino (Norcal!), CA
This definitely has the feel of a staged conversation, but good advice nonetheless.
actually the whole convo is staged just so DRD will look cool.
(in reality DRD's response was staged to make me look good)

>< lol mookie interesting stuff. i'm not so sure playing the same ppl over and over is completely beneficial. every player has certain habits, some players with better / less punishable habits than others.... but its just random how they develop. i forgot where i was going with this XDD... but playing with friends for fun is really good advice. ppl in general should not play this game for money / winning because they could be doing better stuff with their lives if they play with such a negative attitude ><. neways enjoyment = better learning XD. absense of frustration is awsome ^^
 

Yellow Mage

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Aug 13, 2006
Messages
369
Once you hit a plateau, from my experience and from talking to some of my friends about this, you seem to improve in stages rather than gradually. Sometimes you will stop playing for a while, pick it up, and just end up being better than before for no aparent reason. My theory on this is that during your absense of playing you somehow manage to drop habbits of bad play. Also, it's the same as the previous concept with tech skill, that practicing in small amounts and having down time is more effective than non-stop playing. These are all just theories, but this is the most common way I myself have improved, and it's still a mystery to me as to why it happens this way.

Another thing that will lead to improvement is simply a fluke in play that makes you understand a new element to the game that was previously either misunderstood or you were oblivious to. Most mindgames and newer, more tricky, techniques will come from some of the stupidest ****. Also, you might realize something small, like "hey, if they tech standing up and I time it right, I can smash someone out of a standing dodge." A lot of times the player will have "thought" they have known of a concept but haven't really grasped it. That's why you see a lot of midrange players having incredible game theory advice. You can understand something completely and implement it horribly.

Things like these come on a whim, and while they are small they defintely affect ones gameplay. Know that once your tech skill is developed, that the only thing left to truely expand on ARE these little things. These little things, while seperate, don't amount to much, but when they are all implemented together it can turn someone from barely winning, to absolutely ****** someone.

Always, always, always, look for these small nuances in the game, for they are the things that really take you to the next level. The discovery and the implementation of this is what makes the top players top and what keep them on the top. Whatever you do, don't get discouraged along the way, and be sure to get as much advice and help as you can. Nobody is going to question your pride for asking for help, and nobody will claim you to be a wuss when you progress much faster than those who have too much pride.


I think I may be one of those mid-range players you're talking about. But anyways, thanks for the advice, and I'll keep on training and having fun :) .

:037:
 

Xx GuNz xX

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Sep 24, 2006
Messages
467
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Ohio
One of my main problems is I think too little in battle. ;_; I need to learn to observe my opponent and adjust to him... Even if I already beat him most of the time anyway. ;)
 

LemonManX

Smash Lord
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
1,178
Location
Bendigo, Australia.
Nice advice, I'll make sure I start doing that. Admittedly my friends aren't all for these "advanced techs" completely yet... but I am beginning to convince them slowly.

More great words from MookieRah.
 

Dodger

Smash Ace
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Messages
621
Man, that is so true about the plateu thing. I've been stuck in a plateu for quite a while now.

I know observing your opponent is a good thing, but sometimes, I'm playing an opponent who's so fast that I don't really have enought time to think about what he's doing because I have to concentrate on what I'm doing. What do you do in that sort of situation?
 

MookieRah

Kinda Sorta OK at Smash
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Messages
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Umeå, Sweden
The conversation wasn't staged at all, I actually had that conversation with Dan2, but I did edit out the many "lol's" "yeah's" "that's right" and everything else that was uneeded as well as reword a few things so it was easier to read and not have any needless text. The only reason I pasted the convo is cause I was too lazy to type it, and the editing only took a minute. There wouldn't be any reason for me to post the advice in conversation form when I didn't have to really. Not any good reasons at least.

'm not so sure playing the same ppl over and over is completely beneficial. every player has certain habits, some players with better / less punishable habits than others....
I wasn't suggesting that you keep your smash play to just your friends. You never need to limit yourself in a game this diverse. If you can go out to tournaments and play as many people as you can. Just know that to truely get the most out of a match you need to play to learn, not play to win, and I suggest that if you aren't in a money match or a tournament match that you should play to learn. You also need to go to tournaments so you can learn how to deal with the stress of having something on the line in a match. It doesn't matter if you could **** Ken and PC teamed against you in a friendly if you get so nervous in a tournament match that you can't beat a noob.

Dealing with stress is something that is next to impossible to learn in a purely friendly environment and is best learned in a tournament setting. That's something I didn't think about in my previous posts on this thread, but it's very very valid. Learning to maintain your cool and being able to still observe your opponent in the midst of frustrating tactics or incredible mindgames is VERY VERY important.
 

Yellow Mage

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Aug 13, 2006
Messages
369
You know, this is indeed REALLY great advice. What else would you expect from somebody who's read Watership Down AND a Pokemon fan, me being both myself :grin: ?
 

Eidolon

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Apr 27, 2006
Messages
161
Location
NY
I still believe that the small amount of practice with downtime yeilds more results than continuous play.
That's true outside of Smash as well, especially in terms of building up conscious memory. For instance, it's best to prepare for an exam in school by studying for 30-45 minutes at a time and then giving yourself brief 5-minute breaks--study interrrupted by periods of rest.
 

MookieRah

Kinda Sorta OK at Smash
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Oddly enough I stumbled onto my method of playing briefly then taking a break because I would play smash while taking a break from my studying, in which I was using the method you are talking about.
 

MookieRah

Kinda Sorta OK at Smash
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Everyone I talked to hits a certain level and their progression slows down tremendously. After that point people get better in stages. That may not be true with everyone, but I'm fairly sure it's universal from the evidence I have gathered.
 

MookieRah

Kinda Sorta OK at Smash
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The thread "Why are so many people frieghtened of Marth" has gotten to a point in the discussion in which it got me to thinking about the differences in progression of someone with a particular character as well as establishing some kind of chart that identifies and labels the levels of a smash player.

I'll first try to start with a list of the stages of a typical smasher. This is all hypothesis, and if you would like to contribute your thoughts on it PLEASE provide input into the matter. I want the chart to be able to help players, so they can know what stage they are at in their play and what they can do to improve. Anyways, here goes:

Newbie/Beginner ~ Someone who has barely played the game. Struggles with the most basic of concepts, such as using upB for recovery.

Casual Novice ~ A player who understands all of the basic concepts of the game. They understand pretty much all of the options they have as presented by the How To Video, and they may or may not understand or be aware of some of the more elusive lower level techniques such as teching and meteor canceling. A casual novice knows little or virtually nothing of the smash scene, and will not truely progress past this stage untill they discover it and then choose to reach a higher level of play.

Novice ~ A player who has a good understanding of the lower level skills, and is currently in the process of learning and experimenting higher end techniques such as wavedashing, l-canceling, and many other character specific things along the lines of DJC, float-canceling, pillaring, etc. This is a very influential stage in ones developement, because a lot of smashers get overwhelmed. It's easy for humble players to realize that in the grand scheme of things they aren't good. A cocky player will see his improvement at this point and attribute it to his innate talent to smash, and will truely believe that he will be at pro level within a month, or perhaps even a few weeks. At this point is when people usually attend their first tournament, and that can make or break the smasher. It's important to know that just cause you are at a low level now it doesn't mean you will never be able to catch up. At this point try focusing on enjoying it, and don't take it so seriously.

Intermediate ~ I would gander to say that most smashers on this site fall into this category. At this point a smasher has pretty much hammered out all the low end stuff, has a good understanding of the higher level stuff, and is beginning to dabble into DI and other things that seem as "annoyances" in play at prior stages. Depending on their character they may be incredibly close to their plateau stage. Easier to play characters, those that don't require as much tech skill, will hit this stage first, because there isn't much left to learn about their character and they have mastered the basic play of said character. Tech heavy players will continue to progress gradually for a longer period. They may or may not pick up on nuances during their tech skill progression, and by that I mean they may start to realize the importance of observation before they actually hit a plateau.

Journeyman ~ Someone who has hit the plateau stage in their developement. At this point your progression comes to pretty much a halt. These players know their characters inside and out; however, they don't know about all the things in smash that are pretty much hidden and unnoticeable untill they discover it in play or someone points it out. These people go to tournaments and always do well, but they rarely win (assuming it is a higher end tournament). Because their progression has slowed tremendously a lot of players get discouraged and it's not uncommon for them to quit entirely. At this point I would advise players to record matches, talk openly to other players about how they can improve, help other smashers with things they noticed, and focus focus focus on observing in a match. Observing is the key difference in getting past this stage in one's developement.

Semi-Pro ~ Someone whom has progressed through several plateaus, and can see most of all the underlying things going on in matches. They can more easily gauge themselves in comparision of the pros cause they are at a high enough maturity to see the mastery that the pros have. This is a very very slow stage of developement, very slow. While it may be slow, it's also exciting, because your mindgames and awareness of the game grow the most at this level of play. Continue analyzing your matches, asking for advice, and helping others like you have been and you will speed up your progression. There isn't much more advice I can give, cause this is the stage I feel I am on. A LOT of the good players on this site are at this level, and very few make it to the next. Never get discouraged, and continue playing, cause that is what seperates one from getting to the final stages.

Pro ~ Ones who have mastered pretty much all there is to know about smash. Their understanding of smash as well as how to manipulate players is incredible. Not much else can be said about pros :-P.

Super Pros ~ Even amongst pros there are some that stand out. This is the most exclusive class, as very very very few reach it. While I would have one feel positive about it, it might not be possible for some people to reach this level of play. Only a few have attained this level worldwide, and only a few will ever reach this stage.

That's all I got for right now. I'll post more about character specific progression later.
 

Eidolon

Smash Apprentice
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Apr 27, 2006
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161
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NY
Oddly enough I stumbled onto my method of playing briefly then taking a break because I would play smash while taking a break from my studying, in which I was using the method you are talking about.
LOL that's awesome. I already play only a little at a time--I try to get in 15-30 minutes every night before I shower and go to bed. It truly is a good technique; playing a little bit every day helps to keep your muscle memory fresh. More n00bs (like me) should heed this advice: when I was first learning to wavedash I played Melee only every three days or so (I have a jam-packed weekday schedule), but I wasn't getting much closer to perfecting it, since every time I played I had to spend a half-hour or so refreshing my muscle memory. It took me such a long time to warm up to where I was during my last practice session that I progressed really slowly. But about three weeks ago I adopted this technique and within a few days I quickly mastered the wavedash to the point where I now need very little time to warm up--which is absolutely necessary in a match setting.

So yeah, it really is very good but often overlooked advice!
 

Ironclad

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
111
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Olympia, WA
Good god, Mookie. If I could +rep you several times in a row I would. This info should be stickied somewhere I think, especially that last one about the stages of progression.
 

Peeze

Smash Master
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Messages
3,692
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Sunshine State of Mind
The basic idea is...
If you are a veteran to the game, keep playing against your friends and don't overtrain when you are playing yourself. Focus on their fight patterns and predict what they'll do next. Playing for fun will actually make you learn more than playing to win.
If you are new to the game, don't get discouraged if you aren't good at it right away. Keep trying and don't quit...greatness take time.
That's it in a nutshell I think.
Thanx for the summary, I never was a good readerer
 

Rye

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Sep 22, 2004
Messages
436
I forget where I read it, but muscle memory takes about 24 hours to develope and requires SLEEP. The idea of cramming before heading to a tournament the same day isn't a good idea. It's important, when training tech skill, to get plenty of rest before jumping back into a technique.

Mindgames seem easier to develope under stress though. Most people tell you that the best way to improve is to go to tournaments. It's true because there's a lot of stress to be felt when money and time is on the line. However, there are many other ways to improve mind games without having to go to a tournament.

This sounds stupid, but I think many people will agree that they play better when they are slightly hungry and sleep deprived. Late at night (before completely collapsing that is) the game seems to slow down and things are easier to grasp. I find myself dash dancing a lot more and even sometimes just standing still and waiting. I attribute that to the increased stress of hunger and sleepiness. Maybe I'm the only one, but I find myself reading people like books late at night before the smash ends.

You still won't benefit much if the people you play against are complete noobs, though.

Just my 2 cents.
 

Yellow Mage

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Aug 13, 2006
Messages
369
I like the chart, but I think I hit my journeyman plateau at my intermediate stage :urg: .
 

MookieRah

Kinda Sorta OK at Smash
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Mar 7, 2004
Messages
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Umeå, Sweden
Well, that chart so far is just a huge blaring hypothesis that was thought up in one sitting, so I'm sure there are a lot of things that could fit in 2 stages simaltaneously and what not. I will think about it more later and revise it, and hopefully people can debate it and hammer it out a bit more. I think having a chart that shows what stage you fit into would be a good way of discovering where you are at, and what you can do to progress.

@Rye
I totally hear you about the hunger sleep deprived thing. I actually can't allow myself to eat at a tournament, I just have no apetatite at all, even though my stomache is screaming at me that it's empty. It's a very weird experience. I'm also no stranger to sleep deprivation, being a veteran of Memphis's premier tournament INNsomnia, that starts at 10 PM and goes on till 9 AM.
 

forward

Smash Champion
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
2,376
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Tucson Arizona
One thing that I'd disagree with you on is playing to win against your friends. You will learn a lot more IMO if you are BOTH trying to win. When you figure out that something works, your friend will learn to counter that, and you will learn to counter that, etc etc.

If you aren't trying to win but your trying new things, these new things may not even work. Because the person you were trying them on wasn't trying to win and get around it, they were trying new things. So if you are both trying new things it will just be a bunch of random ideas that lack support that you add to your game.
 

TheCatPhysician

Smash Ace
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Messages
976
Location
Cordova, Alaska
I would say neither way of playing is better really, or that you should even think about which way is better because it's not important. What's important is that you need to synergize both of the ways of playing. If you always play to win, you will never get to experiment with things you aren't sure will work. And if you never play to win, you just wont have experience with trying your best, and that's something you need to know how to do. I'm not as good as the people posting in this thread, but that's my opinion.

Good job on the chart, MookieRah. I really like the part about the plateau, and like a lot of people, I can relate to it. I was stuck in a plateau for a really long time and I didn't even really know it until I got competition outside of my group of friends in my town (I got to stay with Lunaris for a while then went to OC2). Now that I am back, it seems like every day I play with my friends I'm getting better, as opposed to almost never getting better for months. It's like an explosion in innovation. I focus on my opponent and keep my mind open to moves to do, as opposed to just doing things that I know to work. I think one thing that is really important is to know the properties of your character's moves like the back of your hand, and just leave it up to your subconscious to decide what moves to do and when, while keeping your eyes on your opponent and trying to anticipate what they'll do. An example is while I was at Lunaris's, I invented this little technique without thinking about it (I'm sure other people know of it, but I didn't at the time, so I'm still proud of myself:) ) : When you're on the edge with Fox, you can come up to the stage doing a back air, facing away from your opponent by

1) dropping off the stage until you get low enough for a second jump to take you just over the edge

2) shining instead of jumping and then turning around in your shine

3) jump-cancelling out with a back air; now you're facing away from your opponent and coming back to the stage.

Not all that complex, but it's cool how it just came to me in the middle of a match. And this is one reason I think it's important to play to learn. We played for hours and hours, just me vs. him. After our first matches I stopped worrying about winning, because he was so much better it was hopeless. After that it was just a huge learning experience for me. With my group of friends in my town, we had pretty much reached a plateau for a long time because we were all the same skill pretty much, and I guess we were never really challenged. But under stress (and I don't mean that in a bad way, this was really fun), I was forced to get better. It's like that one saying that said something like, we only know our strengths and weaknesses when we are challenged, and that's when we can push ourselves.

Anyway, I wouldn't want to call myself a full out semi-pro, because I'm sure I'm not as good as most other semi-pros, if MookieRah is one. But I know I've definetely reached that Journeyman plateau, and am going over it. So I'm on my way to being a semi-pro. Like, journeying out of the journeyman stage. I guess that's why they call it that.
 

MookieRah

Kinda Sorta OK at Smash
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Umeå, Sweden
If you aren't trying to win but your trying new things, these new things may not even work. Because the person you were trying them on wasn't trying to win and get around it, they were trying new things.
I didn't even think of that, and the main reason why is that usually my opponents play to win, while I will be trying new things. They aren't aware of my training method, so thusly I'm able to try new things and find out if they work in an environment in which they are trying their hardest to beat me. If both players are doing this, then it would make it hard to learn effective strategies.

As TheCatPhysician says, one has to do a bit of both. Either find someone who completely disagrees with the theory and wants to always play to win, or swap between experimenting and playing to win with your friends and fellow crewmates. The whole point in experimenting is to find things that work, not to find things that work on someone who is partially preoccupied trying out if a strategy or technique works XD.
 

sweetooth

Smash Ace
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
505
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
My theory on this is that during your absense of playing you somehow manage to drop habbits of bad play.


That one statement is so true. its like when i first started advanced techs. i was having a ridiculously difficult time performin l-cancels. then one day i just woke up and played at a tournament in my house and all of a sudden i was hitting just about all of them perfectly. then i moved off to college and stopped playing for a couple months (you would think there would be people to play against). after i finally found someone to play against i had noticed that all of the trends in my gameplay and all the predictability had gone away. i just needed a little practice to get my tech skill up again... and i also noticed that i was shuffling (for like the first time ever). i was pretty excited about this.

but actually, i had heard of all of this before. back when i played halo alot, i would read articles and what-not. one of the articles i had read said something about when you take a break from playing a game you tend to kinda start fresh and get rid of old habits. it said that you tend to know more than you did when you first start, so you retain the information that you should instead of the way of play that you had when you originally started.


i know some of this is confusing... but i was thinking about so much stuff and it was kinda hard to get it into words...


p.s. now i sxtopped playing again bescause i dont have a car. im not that far from my crew, but there just isnt anyone in this whole school that plays smash...
 

MookieRah

Kinda Sorta OK at Smash
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
5,384
Location
Umeå, Sweden
I'm currently in the process of finding articles on how the brain learns, effective studying methods, and anything else I find that I feel is relevant. The first two are really annoying to find, cause there is so much bull****, but I have stumbled upon something that has not been addressed so far.

http://www.southern.usta.com/tennispsych/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=178994&itype=8471&icategoryid=0
Check that out, it's a light read, but it's full of information that can help a smasher, specifically mindgames and the thoughts that lead into effective mindgames.

Honestly, when my mindgames work it's because I have thoughts like "I'm going to get him to do *this*." or "I'm going to land this attack when he messes that up again." Basically, if you are thinking proactive you will get much better results. If you are only reactive you don't have any control over the match, and without control you can only get so far.

This actually explains in a large degree why if someone in a crew becomes the best, they stay the best. It's cause they have the confidence that they can beat everyone in their crew, so their thoughts are more positive and a result of this confidence. Instead of thinking "Oh **** I have to avoid *this*." they are focused on finding ways to set up for what they want. A good example is JC, a member of my crew that was always the best. It's obvious from playing against him that he was thinking like this in a match. He would probe for responses in order to find what he needed to make what he wanted happen. It wasn't untill I switched to Marth and started playing not to win or experiment, but playing to make my opponent feel ******** that I gained the confidence and ability to think proactive. Also another thing that helped me greatly is that I got away from JC and my crew and started teaching some players at MSU that I started playing more proactive. Being the best in your group lends you to think like this, because if you aren't relaxed you can't think proactive. That is not to say that you have to be the best in order to learn to be proactive, but it definitely helps one relax.

Funny how the more I talk in this thread the more it ties into the "Why are people afraid of Marth thread." By being afraid of a matchup it almost forces them to become reactive and leads to their downfall. In which case that could also help explain why I found it easy and believe a lot of Marth players find it easier to mindgame and be proactive.

-Edit-
Here is a wiki article on muscle memory. It doesn't get into effective study methods, only just that to build muscle memory, or in our case fine motor skill, one has to be repetative. I'm having a hard time backing up my claims that short practice session + downtime is a more efficient method of training; however, please try it for yourself and see the results.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscle_memory

Here is an article on the Tango and muscle memory. It's sorta relevant, but sorta not. There are a lot of things being discussed that are similar to things in this thread. It basically shows me that learning smash isn't any different than anything else.
http://pythia.uoregon.edu/~llynch/Tango-L/2003/msg02356.html
 

Ironclad

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
111
Location
Olympia, WA
I can definately vouch for what you're saying about being proactive. I used to be a pretty high-level player for a certain RTS, Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War, and I realized the value of being proactive, and making the opponent react to you, early in my 'career'. By taking control of the match, and deciding for yourself what happens and where, rather than letting your opponent decide for you, you gain a critical advantage. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to be all-out aggressive, you just have to get your opponent to do what you want, and fight on your terms rather than theirs.

Establishing fear definately helps in this respect. As a Samus player, one thing I often notice is that people will sometimes play a little bit differently when you have a full charged shot ready to be fired. A lot of people are afraid of being hit by this weapon since it does so much damage, but I find that the psychological effects it can have on someone seems to do much more harm than the actual weapon itself. Charging the weapon in the middle of a fight can often provoke them into doing some kind of reckless attack, for some reason making them think I'm 'vulnerable', when they're really falling right into my trap.

Hmm . . . I think I could start a whole new thread in the Samus section about "mind games with the charge beam". It's interesting that what was inititally a simple question like ,"Why are people frightened by Marth," can bring about such an in-depth discussion and even spread influence to other threads like this one.
 

MookieRah

Kinda Sorta OK at Smash
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
5,384
Location
Umeå, Sweden
but I find that the psychological effects it can have on someone seems to do much more harm than the actual weapon itself.

Charging the weapon in the middle of a fight can often provoke them into doing some kind of reckless attack, for some reason making them think I'm 'vulnerable', when they're really falling right into my trap.
SOOOO true. I know this cause I am first and foremost a Mewtwo player, and I am well aware of people who fear a fully charged shadowball, as well as understand that charging a shadowball causes them to rush in. In my earlier days I toyed around with charging the shadowball, but never using it. I don't know why I stopped toying with that idea, cause it's a good way to get them to do stupid things when they are assuming you are going to throw it, or basically when they are playing reactively to it.
 

Xelyst

-_-
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
1,466
Very nice post. Some good common thoughts about the game that most people should read or take some time to reilize, lol Your a good dude
 

MookieRah

Kinda Sorta OK at Smash
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Messages
5,384
Location
Umeå, Sweden
While playing to win, try to find new ways to win.
Well, while experimenting I'm not sandbagging by any means. The main difference is that I'm just trying new things and new concepts. I don't try to lose, my goal is to win as well as to learn.

To further explain what I mean I spent about 30 minutes trying to find it, but I haven't been able to pinpoint it. It's a basis for my play to learn argument in general. Anyways, this is what I remember off the top of my head.

The great Sirlin spoke of a dude that always played to win. He wouldn't let up for anyone, not even a child. He would straight **** anyone in his path. He was a great player, but at the same time, because he never played to learn, he was limiting himself. Typically when you play to win, you don't try to experiment much, if you do the situation calls for it, or it's an act of desperation. By not experimenting often and always playing to win, it's a lot harder to learn new things.

I am not knockin the concept of playing to win. It's very important, but a lot of people on these boards focus so much on winning, or beating their friends in friendly matches, that they don't realize the importance of experimenting and learning new tricks and understanding new things.

Case in point, today. Before I can do that I have to explain a bit.

In my old marth days all I had were mindgames. My tech was horrible. If anyone searches "MookieRah: By the Sword of Ken" you will have a good understanding of how I played. Everything I did was in observation, and made people feel like idiots. I then started to learn tech, and was preoccupied with combos and things. Before I had been able to apply the new tech I went to a tournament, and I didn't do so well. It spurned me from playing Marth for a while.

The past month or so I picked Marth up again, as a teaching tool for my friend at MSU that I was helping get better. In the process of teaching my Marth became A LOT better. I learned sooooo much through teaching, it's weird how that works. At the same time my Marth didn't have the mindgames it used to. I was still spurned by my experience at that tournament. My tech skill was better, and I was better overall, but I just didn't make people feel as ******** as I used to.

Today was different though. Because of that article I posted I went into the matches being proactive. I would say before a match, I'm gonna tip'em like 6 times at least. Usually I would hit my mark. I regained my old ability of making my opponents feel stupid. Even against JC, whom once was the greatest of our group, by meshing my tech with my old mindgames I was on par if not better than he was, and I ended up winning as much if not more matches than he did. By simply setting goals before hand and actively trying to persue them I was able to see soooo much more. It's amazing how just a slight change in mindset affects your play.

I would say this single act of experimenting has improved me greatly. If I was playing to win I wouldn't have made that leap, because I couldn't trust it enough to rely on it. I would have played like I had up till then, which was good, but not as good as how I play now. By playing to learn, I found a new way to play to win.

I hope that makes sense.
 

forward

Smash Champion
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
2,376
Location
Tucson Arizona
The great Sirlin spoke of a dude that always played to win. He wouldn't let up for anyone, not even a child. He would straight **** anyone in his path. He was a great player, but at the same time, because he never played to learn, he was limiting himself. Typically when you play to win, you don't try to experiment much, if you do the situation calls for it, or it's an act of desperation. By not experimenting often and always playing to win, it's a lot harder to learn new things.
He was talking about Thomas Osaki, who was the best nor cal SF player. He wasn't really limiting himself because there was only one person better than him, Tomo, from So cal.

What you don't understand, is that if both players are playing to win, you will be forced to find new ways to win. Your current set of tactics is not working, so you have to develop new ones.
 

FireBomb

Smash Lord
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
1,278
Location
Ending your game.
...And when the other player finds he or she is losing, they find new tactics to win. It goes on and on and soon you realize you are better than you were before. Mario and Fox for example:

-They begin evenly matched, but Fox always tends to pull off the win
-Mario learns that Fox's Up B is very vulnerable to his cape, thus Mario begins winning more
-Fox uses Side B as an alternate recovery, dodging the cape due to it's speed and sweetspoting the ledge with it
-Mario counters with tilts and other well-timed attacks, making Fox get below the stage edge, forcing him to use Up B
-Once Mario begins winning again, Fox learns to utilize the shine, and begins destroying Mario with repeated shine spikes
-Mario learns to play areial mindgames while returning to the stage and squeezes through the shine 90% of the time

This is based on my own experiences.
And thus continues the circle of strife...
 
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