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The Divide Between Good and Great (Complete)

Discussion in 'Melee Discussion' started by Omni, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. Omni

    Omni
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    You can't break those cuffs.

    • Back Roomer
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    Smash In-Depth

    Smash is a fighting video game that takes place on a variable arena. That arena is surrounded by a perfectly square boundary. If this boundary is crossed, that player will lose a stock. Thus it is every player’s goal to force their opponent outside of this boundary.

    Above is the basic science of Smash Bros. What I will be discussing here is something much more in-depth: the physics of Smash Bros. There’s a difference between playing the game, and playing the game. To play this game at its maximum potential, you must understand the basic laws of war.

    A. Position

    Positioning is the single most important factor in any battle. In Smash, you play on a limited surface. Falling off the surface thus increases the chances of you crossing the arena’s boundaries. Also, being in a posture where damage can be given to you will increase your chances as well. Here after, the word position will always be spoken in regards to the player’s current location on any given stage.

    Because there are two players at any given time during a match, there will always be two positions. There are 5 basic factors that determine the strength of the player’s position:

    1.) Direction. Which way is the player facing?
    2.) Character. What character is being used? What is their range, speed, unique features, etc?
    3.) Location. Where is the player in regards to the stage’s boundaries? Where is the player in regards to the opposing player? Where is the player in regards to stage obstacles (platforms, walls, etc.)?
    4.) Action. What is the character’s current frame of action at the moment?
    5.) Percentage. What is the current player’s percent?

    A match is a battle for the better position. Remember this.

    B. Adjusting Your Position

    In any given match, two players are constantly moving in order to gain a better position. There are 3 basic ways to adjusting your position.

    1.) Advancing – To close the gap in regards to distance between two players.
    2.) Retreating – To expand the gap in regards to the distance between two players.
    3.) Waiting – To base one’s own position on the opponent’s adjustment. Also to shield.

    Note that adjusting your position does not necessarily give you better position. For example, in a Fox vs. Marth match, if a Fox adjusts his position onto the platform of Battlefield located directly above Marth he has weakened his position because he has become more vulnerable in this situation. After any adjustment, the rules of positioning apply as explained in the previous section.

    C. What Adjusting Really Means

    If you take into consideration everything that has been said, a player only has 3 options in any given situation: to advance, to retreat, or to wait. That’s it. Players do not adjust their position on a whim; there’s always a reason. What is that reason? I’m glad you asked.

    The common smash player is impulsive. Remember this.

    The common smash player reacts. When they are afraid, they retreat; when they’re confident, they advance. When a player feels vulnerable, they shield or roll; when a player finds their opponent vulnerable, they attack. Understanding this common law and abusing it is what separates the good from the regular. It’s impossible to improve your game if you play off impulse alone never attempting to look outside the box. I mean, there’s no excuse now: I’m showing you the outside of the god **** box.

    How a player adjusts and adjusts to adjustments (reacts) says a lot about the person’s playing style. Understanding a person’s playing style is the first step to overcoming them. Smashers indirectly (sometimes directly) tell their opponent what kind of player they are when they adjust their position given a certain scenario. Essentially, there are a lot of kinds of styles; however, there are only 3 raw styles:

    1.) The Assailant. Advances constantly. Rarely retreats.
    2.) The Camper. Retreats constantly. Rarely advances.
    3.) The Ambusher. Rarely advances or retreats fully.

    Even then, you can go further. If the person’s style is that of The Assaliant is he reckless? Accurate? Predictable? It’s too bothersome to go into the combinations. The best smashers have no real combination, either; there’s a time and place to advance, retreat, and wait and they simply do it at those correct times. Some people can camp better then they can attack and vice versa. What’s important is that you recognize that its there.

    D. Why Is This Important?

    Everything said up to now is important if you want to have the mind of a great smasher. The first step to dominance in this game is understanding what you're up against. Character match-ups, for example, are essential to know, but they're not absolute. This is why Low Tier users are able to compete and even beat High Tier users; they are skilled in keeping good position and always leaving their opponent in bad positions.

    And that's it. This is ALL you have to know in order to seperate yourselves from the mass. Practicing and mastering this concept is the essence of what we call "mindgames". It's the reason why your best friend always beats you. It's the reason why you always get grabbed. You're simply being outsmarted so stop letting it happen. You know everything your opponent can dish at you which means you know everything you can dish at your opponent; if you get bested, it will be simply because you guessed wrong or you were tricked, but knowing that you were tricked and seeing that trick is all that matters to improving your game.

    Good luck. I hope this helped.
     
    Drippy, DreamFunk and DasTrevor like this.
  2. JesiahTEG

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    wow, nice dude. Thats sweet how you break smashers up into 3 categories based on their adjustment.
     
  3. MookieRah

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    A few things, kinda on topic but also somewhat of a tangent as well, is that the 1st character a player learns (to play competitively that is) seems to etch in stone the kind of play style one would expect to be their dominate attribute, and that goes for things beyond just the 3 types you presented.

    For example, I played Mewtwo for years and in my time was considered one of the better M2 players around. Mewtwo's lack of variety in approaches have forced me to learn a more defensive style of play, although I didn't focus on camping either. I always called it being aggressive defense, but you labeled it as "ambusher" which is appropriate, cause my play consisted of trying to watch for openings before attacking, while actively baiting and getting in and out of their attack range with wavedashes to taunt them into taking the offensive with me. In effect, plotting an ambush on them.

    Now I play as Marth and CF, and I still have an incredibly similar play style. I wait for a proper time to go in and take control of the match. This is something that I don't think I would have been ingrained into me if I hadn't played Mewtwo for 3 years. I even have the same mentality of matchups as I did with Mewtwo, which in my opinion is a good thing, because as a Mewtwo player one REALLY had to know your matchups retardedly well if you wanted to get anywhere.

    Mewtwo wasn't very tech heavy either, and I still am not very tech heavy. I'm definitely not tech-deficient (I love to play fox and falco too, and I've got decent tech skill with them :-P), but my focus is less dependent on tech and more dependent on trying to trick my opponents. A lot of people who started as a techy character seems to stay a techy player, even with characters that don't have much tech involved.

    This is getting long winded so I'm just gonna leave it at that. I think people get the idea anyways :-P. I swear though, I'm going to compile all of the great MD discussions that have been going on the past few months and try to make a guide of improvement in competitive smash or something.
     
  4. bjdavis420

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    Nice post, I am definetly more of an assailant, but the major draw back is that many times, I find my self advancing right into an attack if I am not careful...Maybe I should work more on not being impulsive. Either way, like the thread.
     
  5. smash_rob

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    nice post! i think i'm an assailant too, but i main marth so it's a lot easier to pressure my opponents into a corner with the large range he has.

    the fact that you said the common smash player is impulsive is an excellent point and something people can take advantage of through mind games, get to know what your opponent does in certian situations and take advantage of them by punnishing their reactions.

    a good simple example is advancing on your opponent and wavedashing backwords into a forward smash as they try and intercept your original rush, that seems to work on newer people constantly ^_^

    this thread has potential to become a really good one, so keep the ideas flowing
     
  6. salostryker

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    Again, great post. I'm an assailant too, and my brother punishes me for it.

    *raises hand* I know why this is important. Because you can make guesses as to what strategies will work well against your opponents' style.
     
  7. Gimpyfish62

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    i'll post something cooler later, nice post
     
  8. Omni

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    You can't break those cuffs.

    • Back Roomer
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    thanks. not that many people will be able to understand the importance of this shiz but i think it helps to voice out the thought process of higher level players. putting how i think in writing will probably make it easier for me to get better as well
     
  9. Liewyel

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    This is pretty impressive actually, thinking about it a bit in conjunction with Mookie's post, it really makes me understand how I play now. The first time I played SSBM was FFA 4 people, and I picked Roy. I still remember that day how I would always just wait for an opportunity and capitalize on it. (At the time that meant B-Over)

    This definitely helps explain how playing the same people doesn't always help improve gameplay, it could be similar to learning a level 9's pattern.

    With this knowledge though, it'll probably help my game improve because I'll be more on the lookout for this kind of thing in players.
     
  10. YOSHIDO

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    nice post man. I regret not takin the time to look at it when you first made it. But then again i had to work my first 12hr shift the next day. But yeah spacing is reall important in battle. Thats one big factor in the skill seperation. Im only just realizing this for about a year. But at tournament lv play. When u see characters barely ever leavin themselves open. But still allways having the opponent at a dissadvantge. Thats how peeps get 3 stocked. If u can allways avoid ur opponent and second an 3rd guess them. U'll never have a problem and ur matches will always be fun an intense.

    What makes smash good. Well atleast for me. Is the the road blocks too. U know ur character gets in the mindset for a fight. And even though the matches maybe close. U don't come out on top. So what do u do? U think. U change ur game plan. Find the opponents weaksen. And take from them everything lol. Then in turn. they will think better too. I love it. Great post man. i hope more people reply.
     
  11. g0nz02

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    These are they posts that BRoom access are made of. Very, very good.
     
  12. Omni

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    • Back Roomer
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    Finished. I was thinking about going even more in-depth, but when you think about it, it's not very necessary. Even though what was said "seems" small, great players know this is their secret to success. Let me know if this was of any help for you. Comments appreciated.


    Hmmmmmmm. :070:
     
  13. LoOshKiN

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    this was a really cool post. I first mained fox. I wasn't that technical so i used his speed (dash dance!) to draw my oppenent in and ambush him. I've switched my main about three times since but I'm still an ambusher :chuckle:
     
  14. Eaode

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    This is INCREDIBLY true. Great post.


    The part about most players being impuslive is entirely correct. I used to be impulsive. I could get better in little steps, But I kept being beat by my friends. Even one of my friends who uses Roy! (He used sheik before, but got bored. His roy is pretty good)

    Funny thing is, that for a period of about 4 weeks, I didn't get any oppurtunities to play smash with people. I spent my days watching videos, reading smashboards, and playing smash vs lvl 1's (because I was bored and wanted to do some random *** combos xD)

    But all that time, I was thinking. Thinking about strategies in smash. Going into theory. Reading great things on smashboards (like this!) and observing pros with my characters.

    When I went back and played them again, somehow I had mysteriously improved. A lot. I switched from being impulsive to deductive. I started only approaching fully when there was an opening. I started DDing a lot more. I started using platforms in clever ways to maneuver myself around. My new playstyle was "play defensive, but look aggressive".

    All these mindgames were developing, and now I was able to see through my opponents patterns, and more importantly, capitalize on it.


    Once you switch from being impulsive, you really seperate yourself. And now I see why my other friend (Reo) always beat me before.



    It's posts like this that really help people. Thank you.
     
  15. SCOTU

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    We can always count on Omni to come through with some excellent guide or something!

    Great work. (seems familiar though, i must've seen it before it was complete or something)
     
  16. Omni

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    • Back Roomer
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    ahh, shucks. <insert luigi taunt>

    i'm glad this information is getting to at least the few people out there that really want to get better at this game. it's discouraging attempting to share knowledge when senseless topics with no meaning take more priority. share this guide with your friends and spread the wealth. most people wonder why i don't keep this information to myself, but i live for the competition and the challenge. bettering others just helps me to stay on my toes and keep my game tight.
     
    Benny P likes this.
  17. LeifusYourGod

    LeifusYourGod
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    the original post is like sex in a thread.
     
  18. HoshiPuri

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    Great post. I always wondered why I lost to those kinds of people.

    I just really have to position myself better.
     
  19. Emblem Lord

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    This is exactly how I feel whenever I write an article. lol.

    Good read.

    EDIT: I'm glad to see someone else share knowledge. Too many people hoarde knowledge in this community.

    Don't people realize that by sharing knowledge and evolving the metagame of the community overall we will become stronger as both individual players and as a community? Seems like all the good players just want to keep thier secrets so they can win money.

    It's disgusting. How can you call yourself the best when your opponent doesn't have your knowledge? I think the community can see tremendous growth if everyone has the same knowledge and understanding.

    There would be an even greater drive to dig deeper and understand more.
     
    Gadiel_VaStar likes this.
  20. MookieRah

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    He speaks the truth.
     
  21. KevinM

    KevinM
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    Doin Me so Hard I Got Pregnant

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    Testify Brother Testify
     
  22. Problem2

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    If smashers are broken up into any catogories at all, I think it would be based on their adjustment patterns like you said, but wouldn't a camper be someone who stays in a certain spot?
     
  23. Omni

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    I second that.
     
  24. Omni

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    • Back Roomer
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    Bumped because I'm amazing at teaching.
     
  25. Tizex

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    i disagree. the metagame you describe seems pretty much low level

    mid level metagame is aware of low level metagame and makes adjustments without understanding

    high level metagame involves perfect awareness, understanding of game theory, and randomness. they're all pretty easy if you know what to look for
     
  26. Tizex

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    also your article is kind of all over the place, but because it's tidy and well written it's pretty easy to disregard that (sorry if it feels like i'm bashing you, tough love)

    like point A is just situational adjustments you have to make. i'd strongly disagree that fights for position are most important - knowing patterns of your opponent's moves and movement in the context of situation is what any competitive game is about.

    point B is just approaches, which is only one aspect of smash. also domination, defense, edge games...

    C - yes poor players just "react," but most players at least have some understanding of theory. if something doesn't work for them 5 times in a row they'll kind of notice it and try to change it. this really is the important part of your article, but you just offer insight into the lowest level - even the best players fall into patterns and "react" through habit to different situations, though it's much more difficult to pick up on.

    anyway if you disagree i'm always up for a debate
     
  27. Omni

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    • Back Roomer
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    In order to know patterns of your opponent's moves, or any move they do in context of the situation, you have to open your eyes to how the opponent reacts given their position. Even pro players have their situational habits: tech-rolling into the stage at high %'s, tech-rolling toward the edge to throw off medium level players, common Marth dash dance to grab after sidestepping in Marth dittos, etc. When you know how a person adjusts, then predicting their next move becomes more attainable. For example, a person who whiffs and knows they're open for punishment a large amount of the time don't wanna get hit. They either spotdodge, roll in any direction, or attempt to run backwards. If you watch that your opponent tends to run away after a failed approach, you can dash towars them and aim your next attack where your opponent's usually flee target is. This is an EXCELLENT tactic that works extremely well at any level of play. Of course at the highest level of play, the opponent will learn and take notice the next time the situation is given. Ultimately, to know your opponents next move, you have to know what are all their options and given the style of play the person asserts by their positioning can help narrow down what that option will be.

    This is to say that the person is doing the same thing to make their opponent react which wasn't my thesis for that subject. There are plenty of ways to force your opponent to do something you'd like; sometimes it'll fail, sometimes it will succeed, but my point is to bring attention to people who don't understand the importance of reacting. Too many players KNOW that players act, but not enough understand WHY players react and HOW they can use that to their advantage. Understanding the WHY and the HOW is what gets players thinking about the metagame in much more detail giving what is called mindgames.

    Obviously, this guide isn't something for high level players whom already understand the smash metagame and the psychology of cause and effect. It's bringing to light what many "stuck" smashers who can't seem to reach over a certain limit, or progress too slowly a simple theory that can elevate their game tenfold depending on the mind of the smasher who understands this.
     
  28. Tizex

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    oh okay, i guess i misunderstood your intent. but i still think your first point is a little too narrow
     
  29. Emblem Lord

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    So then post your own thread and type what you have to say so you can improve upon this thread is trying to explain.

    I'm sorry, but I hate it when people just come in and say things like, "This stuff is obvious" , or "You need to explain this particular thing a little bit more."

    Recognize what Omni is trying to do and give him his props.
     
  30. Tizex

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    emblem lord, the thread is titled "the divide between the good and great," not "steps to become aware of mindgames"

    it definitely is a good guide for players beginning to become competitive, but it's titled as something different, which is why i noted it was lacking a lot. is this not fair?

    and it's not like i'm giving baseless criticism, i pointed out things that i disagreed with in the original post, which he explained further. it's not my duty to fully flesh out complex concepts when i disagree with points, it's that of the topic creator, and i credit him with doing so.
     
  31. Omni

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    I appreciate Tizex's criticism. Never really found him as bashing, but he made solid points; some of which I agree with.
     
  32. Dark Sonic

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    Adding on.

    I think that another important Factor in creating your style is the character you training partner plays. I play Marth, who is normally a more defensive or stationary character, but my primary rival played Link at the time I was picking Marth up. In the Marth vs Link matchup, Marth must make the approach far more often than almost any other matchup and must over all play more aggressively. That experience shaped my style more towards the assailant style rather than the ambush style Marth is normally known for. However, when my friend picked up Ganondorf for a while, I noticed that I rushed in way to much (because of how easily Ganon can punish an aggressive Marth) and had to tone down my play a little bit. My friend then switched to Falco, and even though the ambush style would be fairly good for this matchup, my style slowly reverted back to the aggressive style I had used before. I think your style is mostly formed by your first set of Matches while you are still learning your character because you are specifically learning how to use that character against one specific opponent,

    Just something that came to mind after reading this post.
     
  33. Micheloxx

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    thanks 4 the guide man, ill take it in count..
     
  34. Matador

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    Amazing guide. It's cool that you put the average thought pattern into words so accurately. Next time I'm on my last stock at high percentage I'll go assailiant instead of camper, lol. Just to shake things up.
     
  35. Omni

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    You can't break those cuffs.

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    Lol, good luck.
     
  36. Ryuker

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    Really nice post. Especially the first part. A lot of players sometimes seem to forget the pure basics of this game and rules and just play too look like the others. I myself think that the ambusher style is the most suited for this game( which is why chars like sheik and marth are soo good) cause it means you atleast presure and that way limit your opponents options of movement and positioning but at the same time are prepared to counterattack or block retreat when you have to.

    It's so true about your rival influencing your style. I played alot of defensive opponents so I used to be really defensive however by traveling and playing lots of people I have learned to basically blend my style to the situation and be defensive when I have to.

    It's posts like these that really contribute to the community we have and it's always nice to see these popping up between the random topics.
     
  37. LoOshKiN

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    I saw someone's signature (sorry I can't give credit where its due) that said, "An amatuer practices until they get it right, and a pro practices until they never get it wrong." I thought that was fitting for this thread. A lot of good realizations are made here.

    I don't like to think that my ultimate fighting style is dependent on the very first character I really started using adv. techniques with or the character that I always practice against.

    I would like to imagine that I am beyond that; My playing style as well as everyone's should be dependent on the situation, or better yet, make your oppenents style dependent on what you do therefore you are in control.
     
  38. Bob Money

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    thats my partner.
     
  39. SmashMac

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    Very nice thread Omni. A quick and efficient read.
     
  40. burntsocks

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    NNID:
    burntsocks
    Any tips for mindsets while playing, cuz its really hard for my brain to comprehend everything that is going on and to asess the situation and make the right move, while still being focused on the game and doing this all in an instant. My mindgames are pretty good, but i cant really think too much in battle, espcially since smash is such a fast paced game. Any tips, or will i just overcome this as i become more and more competative?
     

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