1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Welcome to Smashboards, the world's largest Super Smash Brothers community! Over 250,000 Smash Bros. fans from around the world have come to discuss these great games in over 19 million posts!

    You are currently viewing our boards as a visitor. Click here to sign up right now and start on your path in the Smash community!

  3. Use the Smashboards Store to get awesome Smash stuff and support the site, like a Nintendo Controller or the Wii U - Gamecube adaptor ! Check out the inventory in our store and support Smashboards with your purchase today!

The Four Aspects of Melee

Discussion in 'Melee Discussion' started by Wobbles, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. Wobbles

    Wobbles
    Expand Collapse
    Desert Eskimo

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,883
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ

    I've made this thread to help players analyze their own game more deeply and to understand what it takes to become a good player.

    Your skill as a smasher can be divided into four parts:

    Technical Skill
    Mindgames
    Tactics
    Spacing

    I'm going to cover each one in detail, explain how they affect your game, and also make suggestions on how to improve each one.

    Technical Skill

    Your technical skill is your ability to execute commands. The ability to L-cancel consistently is part of your technical skill. The ability to short hop, wavedash, and move your character with absolute control is the ability to interact with the game fluidly.

    Technical skill is the first thing we generally see in a player. When you see somebody SHFFL'ing and waveshining across the level, you assume good technical skill. Technical skill also implies that you are aware of the higher levels of the game and that you are integrating advanced techniques.

    Why is technical skill important? It's pretty simple. If you want to do something, but always screw up and kill yourself (or let the opponent do it for you), then you're in trouble, and won't be winning many matches. Also, without technical skill, sometimes you can't exploit openings that might win you a match. If Marth forward smashes you and you shield it, if you can't wavedash from your shield consistently, he's free to smash your shield all he wants. You can't punish him, and you have fewer options. If you can't ledgehop, then you always have to stand up, attack, or roll onto the stage from the ledge, and that makes it a lot easier to punish you.

    Questions you probably ask when trying to improve your technical skill:

    1) Why didn't it work?

    Well, the simple answer is this: you did it wrong. More specifically, you pushed or let go of something too soon or too late, or you moved the joystick in the wrong direction. It's that simple. If you flub a wavedash, it's because you air dodged early and jumped. Or maybe you air dodged horizontally. Maybe your Falco's double ledge laser isn't accurate. You might be firing the laser too late after you ledge hop. If something isn't working, you have to stop and figure out what you pressed and when you pressed it; compare that to how the action is supposed to go, and then simply adjust.

    2) Why is it that I can do stuff against a CPU, but when I play against a person I lose my ability?

    One, you're probably nervous and want REALLY BADLY to show off your tech skill. So you're trying too hard, and messing yourself up from within your own head. One solution to this is to start out slow and work your way up. Or come up with a warmup routine that you can actually do mid-match; maybe it's a movement pattern that gets your hands ready.

    The other problem might be that you're splitting your attention between focusing on the enemy and focusing on your own actions. In training you focus on doing the combo, on execution, on your fingers and the buttons. In a real match, you're usually watching the characters. When the movements aren't completely ingrained into your psyche, then you will lose focus on both halves of the match, and then you'll fall apart. The answer is simply this: practice better. Not more, BETTER. Just rehearsing the same combo won't work. Do different stuff, make weird combinations of your ordinary movements, and make it so that when you want to do something, your hands just DO IT.

    There is yet another reason, which is that when you are playing against a real opponent, they have a tendency to fight back. This seems like a no-brainer, but it's easy to forget. You can't treat your opponent like a training dummy, but that is often what happens after a lot of practice. You forget that your opponent is a threat, and you focus just on your own techniques. When you get interrupted, you start to panic and that interferes with your execution. One way to keep this from happening is to start off matches by refusing to attack; play purely evasion and keep-away, and this will help warm up your brain and your fingers at the same time. You might not like that idea (and it might not be feasible, especially if you're in a tournament match), so the other answer is simply to slow it down and pay extra attention to your opponent. Focus on them, not yourself. Remember that your matches aren't combo videos of you, and that your opponent's job is to screw you up. Thanks to Rohins for bringing this part up.

    The main problem with technical skill is that, if a player over-emphasizes it in their training, they will forget (or never learn) how to win mental battles against the opponent. This can cripple your game, as being able to outthink your opponent is a crucial component of Melee, and the second aspect that I want to discuss.

    Mindgames, son.

    Mindgames are controversial, but ignore the people who say they don't exist. Mindgames are an essential part of your game, but simply shouting "OH YOU GOT MINDGAMED SON" (when actually, you play like a moron and just get lucky) won't do you much good. Let's try and define them.

    My personal definition is this: Mindgaming is the ability to discern what your opponent is going to do next, as well as the ability to do things they don't expect.

    Nobody can pretend that those abilities do not exist. Good players are able to exploit your patterns, and just when you think you know that they're going to tech left, they go right. They break their patterns at the moment you thought you finally "got them."

    Why are mindgames important? It's pretty obvious. If you are in your shield, and I know that you will try to roll past me because you ALWAYS DO, then how easy is it for me to punish your roll? You roll every time, and because you can't break your own patterns, I can exploit it. If you do the same thing in every situation, then you are incredibly easy to beat. It's the reason why players can stomp all over CPUs; they follow the same patterns, and then they lose.

    We run into a problem though: how can you incorporate mindgames into your game? If you aren't in the habit of thinking while you play, how can you break that lethal habit?

    Step 1: Record yourself playing, and then watch; try and guess what you're going to do. If you see yourself do the same thing over and over again, then it should hit you like a ton of bricks that you need some work. This should give you motivation.

    Step 2: Play against predictable opponents. This should also help you realize, first hand, that a player who never mixes up patterns is a player that loses constantly.

    Step 3: Now you're actually ready to start incorporating. You need to start slowing down how you play. Don't even worry about winning. In fact, it might help if you just play matches with infinite time limits and no stocks against your training partner of choice. Start by trying to guess what your opponent is going to do. Don't even really try to respond or retaliate. Just focus on calling your opponent's moves, one after the other. Watch your opponent, and forget about yourself.

    Some people will probably complain right here: they will say, "you aren't supposed to think so hard while you play. If you're busy consciously analyzing everything, you'll be slow and can't react and won't even make decisions." That's correct. Absolutely true. But in order to integrate mental habits, they must be conscious decisions first. If you don't think while you play, then you have to make yourself think. You have to make it a conscious decision, all the time, while you play, until it becomes a habit. Once it reaches the unconscious level, then you will know you've hit a good point.

    Step 4: Focus on breaking your own patterns. Again, watching videos helps. Try doing different things in the same situations. Adopt other people's techniques. If your friend always shield grabs, and another friend jumps out of shield, and another friend rolls away, and another one spot dodges, try each tactic out. Get yourself in the habit of breaking habits.

    That should help a bit.

    When You Don't Want To Think and Why

    I'm paraphrasing a quote from HugS here, who was being very insightful about the mental aspect of this game. He said something similar to this:

    "You don't want to use mindgames against somebody who doesn't have them, because they may catch you off guard with randomness."

    The heart of this idea is that part of mindgames is knowing how skilled your opponent is. How good they are determines how you should think during your match.

    For instance, why would you play differently against a computer than you would against a human? Simple answer: the computer does not adapt. No matter how many times you charge a forward smash, the computer will run into it. You do not need to think while playing against a computer because the same thing will always work.

    Some people play like computers, and it is useless, even hurtful, to try and outthink them. If they do the same thing every time, and you know how to counter it, why would you even worry about outthinking them? Just wait for them to repeat a move and then punish them. If your opponent always throws scissors, would you suddenly throw paper just to mix it up? No! You'd throw rock until he learned that he has more than one move available.

    Even as people learn advanced techniques, some still remain predictable. Maybe your opponent always tries to shield grab you. You always dodge right when you land, and he always tries to shieldgrab, and he always misses, and he never learns. You aren't obliged to mix up your strategy for the sake of being an advanced player. You cut to the heart of the matter and say "I know what he's going to do, and I'm going to do the same thing over and over again if he's never going to catch on."

    As your opponent improves, your mental approach needs to change. Let's say your opponent catches on to your favorite movement strategy one minute into the match. If you can recognize his skill and anticipate when he is going to "catch on," then you can change at the exact moment he thinks he has you.

    This mental skill is part of what makes playing this game so difficult. I can't just watch you and see how frequently you miss L-cancels or short hops. I need to watch you and learn--sometimes very very quickly--how you learn during a match. Some people are naturally good at this, and some people have to play a large number of opponents before they can recognize different skill levels. I will try and formulate ways to improve in this area, but for now all I can really do is identify it.

    The ultimate example of this is a friend I used to smash with: he would often perform better against more skilled players than he would against newbies. This is because he always believed that his opponent would be thinking during the match as much as he did. He would complain that he just lost to a scrubby Marth or Peach who spammed the c-stick and was "incredibly predictable."

    If they were so predictable, why didn't he just play to their level? Why didn't he play patiently and wait for them to do the same thing, then punish them, then do it a few more times until the match was over? The thing is, my friend was more interested in playing like a good player rather than being a truly skilled one. He didn't identify his opponent's skill, and he was unable to figure out how he should think during his matches. He placed poorly in a lot of tournaments because of this, and it made him incredibly mad.

    The lesson is this: before you start trying to outthink your opponent, figure out how smart they are. If you don't need to think hard at all to beat them, either because they are very predictable or because you're too fast for them to touch you, then don't waste your energy thinking. If you only need to mix up your playstyle occasionally, then periodically switch styles. If you have to play like a different person every ten seconds in order to outfox them, then so be it. Your method of thought should be determined by your opponent's skill level.

    Reflexes and Prediction

    When you play against somebody with good reflexes, it can be a very scary thing. It's almost like they don't even need to think to punish certain behaviors.

    I'm devoting this subject to how your reflexes relate to your predictive ability, and when you should be valuing one over the other.

    First off, I'm going to define three different types of reactions: your pure reaction time, your amplified reaction time, and your diminished reaction time. I'm using acronyms because they are the freaking bomb.

    Pure Reaction Time (PuRe Time): This is how long it takes for you to react to something when your mind is clear. You wait for an action, you figure out what it is, and you respond. PuRe time for most people is pretty strong, surprisingly, provided you know how to respond to different situations (see tactics, below).

    Amplified Reaction Time (ART): Your ART is how quickly you react to something that you expect. When you know something is going to happen, you have your course of action planned out ahead of time, and then what you expect happens. Your ART is much better than your PuRe Time, although just how much varies from person to person.

    Diminished Reaction Time (DiRT): DiRT is how long it takes to react to something you didn't expect. When you think the opponent is going to act in one way and he acts in another, there is extra lag time in your mind while you re-adjust. In fact, sometimes you think "he's doing this, not that!" and you do your pre-planned response anyhow, or you adjust and mistime your new response.

    Here's a breakdown of the thoughts in your head.

    PuRe Time:
    Wait for opponent to take an action. Once he takes it, you figure out what to do. You take the action.

    ART:
    Anticipate opponent's action and come up with a plan before hand. Once he takes it, you respond immediately.

    DiRT: Anticipate opponent's action and come up with plan. He takes a different action. One of two things happen now:
    Now you realize it and have a moment of being dumfounded, then change your course of action. Usually too late.
    You realize it, but you're already taking your preplanned response.

    Sometimes you guess that the opponent is going to do something they aren't and the response you pick actually covers that contingency and you get lucky. Sometimes you guess the wrong thing, your response is flawed, and you get even luckier and you look ten times better than you are. Once I wanted to up-smash somebody's shield and push them off the level (using Fox), and I ran in to up-smash. Screwing up, I did a jumping up-air. They jumped out of their shield at the wrong time, and I up-aired them KO'ing them without DI earlier than I expected. I looked psychic, but I was actually so dumb that it looped around to become successful. Try not to rely on this, but if it happens, celebrate loudly.

    How you can improve your reflexes midmatch is based on the following steps:

    1) Eliminate DiRT. Either don't guess wrong (much easier said than done) or move on to step two.
    2) Replace as much DiRT with PuRe time as you can. Go through some of the most common situations that occur and figure out what you are capable of reacting to. When somebody says "you have to predict this to punish it," don't listen. Experiment on your own and find what you can react to WITHOUT prediction. In order to use PuRe Time, you have to clear your mind of expectation.
    3) ART is the most powerful, and the better you can predict, the more of your reflexes will be based around it. So you want to become as skilled at anticipating an opponent's moves as possible.

    Technical Skill Vs. Mindgames

    Which is more important, tech skill or mindgames?

    This debate has been around for awhile, and it's pretty simple to answer: neither. Or rather, both.

    Your technical skill and your cunning are both incredibly important, and both play off one another. Without your technical skill, you have fewer options and become easier to predict, so your mindgames are based on your technical skill. However, even if you do things very quickly and accurately, if you mindlessly attack in the same patterns, focusing solely on execution, you will be, for all intents and purposes, a level 10 computer.

    Technical skill tends to get a lot of limelight because it's easy to recognize and very impressive to watch at its peak. Mindgames, however, tends to be exalted and put on a pedestal because some of the best players just seem psychic, and resultantly have immense respect. The truth is, however, that both are incredibly necessary. Neither, hoewver, work without knowledge of what works. That is the third part of your game - tactics.

    Tactics

    It doesn't matter if you do moves quickly, or even do moves that your opponent doesn't see coming, if they simply won't work in that situation.

    If you know Marth is going to forward smash you, so you try to counter with DK's forward+b because he doesn't see it coming, then you're making a terrible decision. This is where tactics come in.

    You need to know the counters to the things your opponent does to you. Or, if you don't know them beforehand, come up with them quickly.

    This is a hard subject to discuss because it's so WIDE. You could call it "experience," but you have to be paying attention to the things that defeat you. Just playing isn't enough. You have to EXAMINE the game you're playing. Knowing hitboxes, move properties, and game physics helps a lot when trying to come up with solutions. Learn where each move hits. Did you know that Peach's forward-air actually reaches below and slightly behind her, and that connecting with it like that can send an opponent behind you? It might be worth it to know that so you DI it correctly. Did you know that Mewtwo's neutral-air, Mario and Doc's d-air, Game and Watch's d-air and back air, and Kirby's forward-air and down-air all have landing hitboxes? It's worth it to know that if you're going to try to shield grab or punish those moves. Wouldn't it suck to know GaW was going to d-air, so you dash danced away then back in to grab him, only to get hit by that hitbox? Or wouldn't it be awful if you tried to do a get-up attack and clink with Falco's forward-smash, not knowing that it has a strong tendency to clink and then follow through regardless, and you lost an entire match? You have to know these little things to consistently maintain the edge in every situation.

    There are a lot of little things that get people KO'd or cause them to SD that they aren't aware of. Learning the minute ins and outs of this game can keep those things from happening to you when it's the last stock of the finals. I plan to write another article on these little details, as there are quite a few of them and they don't all belong in here.

    It also helps if you know exactly what to do in a situation when you're focusing on reacting to an opponent's moves. You're PuRe Time improves, your DiRT improves, and even your ART is better because you don't need to spend long formulating responses beforehand. This also keeps you from losing in situations when you accurately guess an opponent's move. Maybe you knew what they would do and did the wrong move, making you lose in a situation. Prevent this from happening, and know your tactics.

    Having good tactical skill doesn't mean merely knowing the answers, however, but knowing how to find them midmatch during a tournament, when your opponent suddenly finds something you're not used to and exploits it. If you know a lot about your opponent's character, your character, the matchup, and the game itself, you will quickly find a solution. If you can't, you're kind of screwed.

    The best way to improve your tactical skill is simply to play matches, and identify the things that are defeating you. If it's Marth's f-smash repeatedly KO'ing you, figure out WHY your opponent is landing it on you. If Shiek is shffl'ing f-airs and you're getting owned, figure out why your opponent can keep doing the move to you while you're helpless. Maybe her aerial needles keep shutting down your approach; you need to realize the angle they fire at, her falling speed, and how that all relates to your character. Once you know why a maneuver works, then you can figure out how to break it.

    A lot of the time I hear people say, "why can't I beat that move" or "why does that keep working on me?" The problem, however, is that a lot of the time people aren't asking the question for real. They aren't trying to find the answer. They've given up, and they're just asking it out of habit and despair. If something is beating you, ask those questions, and then ANSWER THEM.

    Tactics won't solve everything, however. Have you ever known exactly what to do in a situation, and knew exactly what your opponent would do, and then MISSED with your response? This is where spacing, the fourth aspect, comes in.

    Spacing

    ChozenOne asked me why this has its own separate section. It's for two reasons:

    One, spacing is not quite the same as technical skill. Yes, it is reliant on timing, a big factor of technical skill, but it also depends on simple spatial perception. Accurately gauging the distance between you and the opponent is crucial to spacing, and this is not related to your technical skill.

    Two, spacing is an amalgamation of all three previous aspects. It is based on technical skill because, as I mentioned, timing is one of the components of spacing. It is based on your mindgames because Smash is a very fluid game with a lot of movement and motion; your opponent is moving around a lot, and you have to combine your timing with an accurate guess of where the opponent will move next to space a move properly. And of course, you might be at the right distance to punish a d-smash but not an f-smash, so you need to know which your opponent will do before you try to space your response. And lastly, you might be spacing your moves excellently but choosing them wrong. You might be hitting me with the tip of your attack, which would normally keep you safe, but my neutral air will out prioritize it (unless you had attacked just a tiny bit earlier). In a way, you spaced your move well; but you picked the wrong one, so for all practical purposes, you spaced your move poorly. Knowing those tactics is essential to spacing.

    The concept is simple, the execution difficult. In a constantly moving game, you are trying to place yourself JUST out of reach of your opponent's moves so they whiff an attack and you can punish the lag. You want to sit still, then move ever so slightly so when you start your up-tilt, your character's model changes and their attack misses, then your attack lands and you get to deal major damage. You want to interrupt their move with a tipper at just the right moment. You want to be in a zone where you can react to their attacks. With good spacing, you will have these kinds of abilities.

    Without it, you will do the right attack at the right time, execute it perfectly, and be in the wrong place for it. There are few feelings worse than whiffing an attack that you timed right and called correctly, but missed by a pixel.

    How can you make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen? Well, when you're playing with an opponent, focus on the time-honored advice of Isai and don't get hit. Try and stay just out of range. Learn the range of your attacks and the attacks of characters who outrange you. Learn to focus not just on the characters, but on the empty area between them. See your character and the opponent's simultaneously--and once you can do that, learn to see where you think the opponent will be moments from now when he decides to finally dash in for an aerial.

    The Hybrid Aspects

    I've defined and elaborated on the four aspects of your game. Now, if you want to see hard results, you have to look at the hybrids. These are parts of the game that are based on combining your four aspects into gameplay and efficiency.

    Punishment

    Punishing an opponent's mistakes is one of the most important things you can do. This is because your opponents are going to keep on getting better and better, and they're going to make fewer mistakes. If your enemy misses ONE L-cancel in the entire match, you had better be ready to make him pay for it. But if you only get a free shield grab and then a small, 20 percent combo that doesn't go anywhere, what use was it? You should have made him pay as much as you can.

    This, in fact, is one of the things that defines the current tier list. A character's ability to take advantage of an opening defines just how good you have to be to win with that character.

    Consider Pichu. For most of your match, you're going to be landing isolated neutral-airs that don't lead into anything. If you're lucky, you might get two up-airs then a back-air for a moderately effective combo.

    Now consider a character I know a bit more about; the Ice Climbers. The IC's have an infinite that works on everybody. One might argue that it is the ultimate punishing move, because if the IC's grab you, you die. More important than just having the infinite, however, they have ways to lead into it. If I tech chase you, I can kill you. If I hit you with an up-tilt and you're a fast faller, I can kill you. If I jab you and you don't jump or roll away or SOMETHING fast enough, I can kill you. As an IC, I have a wide variety of ways to lead into this ultimate punisher.

    Less extreme examples are things like Marth's tipper, which can shorten a stock by margins of 50 percent or more. Well, it's still pretty extreme, but it's less extreme than an infinite. Even harsher though is Fox's shine, which can punish somebody for letting him get close by either a huge combo or a low percent, gimp KO. Chaingrabs are powerful weapons because they turn a single mistake into a hugely damaging combo with little to no risk. Good edgeguards (ala Marth's f-smash, or Jiggs' WoP) can mean a KO at ridiculously low percents, and can make a single error on your part lead to the loss of a stock. Those characters with these kinds of abilities tend to be much higher on the tier list than those that can't punish effectively and consistently.

    That's how punishment affects characters. Let's see how it is part of your gameplay as a player.

    Again, you are going to get fewer openings against better players; therefore, it is important that you learn to make them count. In regard to the four aspects, this is how it works.

    Technical Skill: You need to be able to execute the combo, chaingrab, edgeguard, tech-chase, or whatever with controlled precision. If you miss an l-cancel in the middle of Falcon's SHFLL'd up-air up-air knee, then you failed to punish well.
    Mind games: You need to know when the opening is coming. If it comes and goes and you don't even notice, then you probably failed to punish at all.
    Tactics: Peach left herself open and you neutral-aired her with Fox. Whoops, she CC'd it into a down-smash and suddenly her mistake turned into yours. You should have d-air'ed into a shine combo into up-throw up-air. If you pick the wrong move to punish with, you can suddenly make mistakes of your own that get YOU punished.
    Spacing: If you aren't in the right place at the right time to punish the mistake, then you can't. It's that simple. Heck, just like tactics, you might be at the wrong distance for your punishment to be effective and it turns around to bite you back.

    I'm going to embark on a bit of a side-note here about low-tiers and how they can illustrate the skill of a player. As I mentioned earlier, lower-tier characters generally don't have good punishment options. They can get a small combo, but you have to consistently outplay the opponent to constantly land those combos and win.

    I'm playing as Ness, and you're playing as Shiek. During our match, we each make ten mistakes per stock. In order to KO me, you only need to get a single grab, with which you can chaingrab, finish with a tilt slap combo, and edgeguard, all of which is very straightforward. With Ness, I need to take advantage of every mistake you make and make each one count as much as possible.

    Let's look at it like this:
    I make ten mistakes in a stock, and you only need to take advantage of ONE to KO me. So if your punishment is even at 10 percent capacity, you can KO me easily.
    You make TWENTY mistakes in a stock and I need to take advantage of 10. I need to have at least 50 percent consistency to successfully KO you.

    For every one mistake you exploit, I need to exploit ten to keep even. If I am WINNING, then it means that I am exploiting your mistakes MUCH more than you are exploiting mine. This is why if I'm beating your higher-tier character with a lower-tier, unless it's a really weird counterpick, I'm probably a lot better than you. You have more openings and I consistently take advantage of them better than you. Add to that fact that lower-tiers have a tougher time even starting punishment (usually lack of range, speed, or priority), I look even better by comparison.

    Recovery

    This is a very important part of your game. However, a lot like punishment, if your four aspects are solid, this will logically be good as well. Still, I will go into detail about it because it requires a skillful combination of all 4 aspects and it's so integral to winning.

    Technical skill: Recovery doesn't usually require that much technical skill, but you can't be accidentally using forward+b when you want to up+b. Some characters have certain techniques that require skillful timing. There are also characters with angle-able up+b's who need precision to recover exactly the way you want to. It might not seem like such a necessary thing to practice, but you'll be in trouble if you mis-aim and frequently kill yourself trying to return. Learn your character's tricks and figure out how to maximize your control over yourself while trying to get back to the level.

    Mindgames: This one is pretty simple to understand. Most characters have some form of recovery mix-up. With Fox and Falco, you can forward+b to the ledge or above it, or you can shorten their forward+b's to trick an opponent into mistiming an attack. You can up+b to sweetspot, or ride the ledge to maybe get a ledgetech. Peach might float above you, on top of you with an attack, or parasol then fastfall to the ledge. Samus has a fair amount of mobility while bomb jumping, and she might use her grapple to sweetspot or she'll sweetspot the up+b. Most characters have a couple recovery options, and it's your job to figure out what your opponent expects and do something else. And, of course, you need to figure out how they want to edgeguard you so you can respond to that.

    Tactics: Know what moves will help your character survive. Know that holding down when you reach the ledge makes you pass by it, and don't let that make you SD. You also need to know your opponent's edgeguarding options and how to stymie their efforts at keeping you off the level.

    Spacing: With good spacing comes sweetspots. Your recovery needs to put you exactly where you want to be, so you need to be familiar with the distance of your recovery moves. And it does you no good to repeatedly forward+b beneath the level with Fox or Falco and SD, or air dodge too low and fail to grab the level. Maybe you're Link, YL, or Samus and grapple too far away and miss the level, or you grab it too closely and go into freefall. Learn to space it, don't kill yourself and give the opponent a free stock.

    Ideally, if you were good enough you'd never even get hit off the stage to need your recovery. We're going to assume you're not perfect and need to have some "crazy returns" to win a match.

    Space Control

    One of the most important things to understand about various characters is the areas of space that lay under their control at any given moment.

    Imagine Young Link is standing on the right platform on Battlefield. He has a bomb in his hand, and he's doing nothing. Young Link, at this moment, because of his versatile projectiles, controls a surprising amount of the stage. His boomerang has numerous areas of space above, in front, and below him under potential control. His bomb can be thrown upwards, smash-thrown forwards, tilt-thrown forwards, or he can dash forward and throw it (or drop it down). His arrows control an arcing trajectory in front of him, and more of a straight line if charged. Because of his projectile diversity, opponents can have a difficult time approaching Young Link because he controls so much of the area in between the opponent and himself. If he wants to use his quick speed to run away and throw projectiles the whole game, a lot of characters will have trouble combatting him.

    Every character controls different regions of space. Marth controls a LOT of space around himself because of the range and priority of his sword. Pichu, on the other hand, has very little concrete space control. You'll find that the ability to dominate areas of the level is directly proportional to a character's position on the tier list.

    Wait a second though. Fox, when compared to Marth, Falco, and Sheik, controls relatively little space around him. Sheik's needles and their trajectory can dominate whole blocks of the stage at any given time, and can often shut down offenses and create solid approaches. Marth's sword can swipe a lot of projectiles out of the air, and characters will have trouble approaching a Marth with decent timing because he just cuts through their attacks. Falco's laser is a beam of control across the entire stage. He is concretely threatening you when you are on the other side of the level! Not to mention, almost all of his moves (when compared to Fox's) have more priority and reach. Yet somehow, Fox is ABOVE all of these characters on the tier list, and in fact he's at the very top!

    That is in part because of Fox's incredible space control POTENTIAL. He is absurdly fast, and he's small. He can run in and out of range of attacks quickly, making him difficult to hit. He doesn't have much CONCRETE range, but his ability to put himself into those places makes him a tremendous threat even when he's on the other side of the stage.

    Why wouldn't that ability put Pichu high on the tier list? He's really fast as well. Unfortunately for him Pichu can't combine his ground speed with the same amount of damage output, comboing ability, edgeguarding, priority, reach, and versatility that Fox can. All Pichu can really do is put himself in DANGER very quickly.

    So what you find is that a character's ability to control the level isn't only determined by the areas they control with an attack, but with the speed of those attacks and with their movement ability. Jigglypuff can control a lot of the level when she is in the air, which is why most Jigglypuff players only touch the ground for small amounts of time. Marth has a fast and long-reaching dash dance - coupled with his grab range, you are threatened by Marth even if he's several sword lengths away. Characters don't just control the space they are in at this very moment; they control the spaces they can reach quickly. Fox can reach any part of the stage very quickly, and therefore he controls a lot of space.

    Lag is a very key component of space control. When you are standing still, you can do almost anything you want. You can jab, tilt, smash, jump, grab, use your B moves... whatever. You have so many areas under control because you are ABLE to reach out and hit whatever's inside of those areas. In short, you only control those parts of the level because of the threat of your moves. Once you do one of them, however, you are committed. Except for the hitboxes of the move, your space control has dropped to ZERO. If I forward smash with Marth, I have a large area in front of me controlled by my sword... but only for a few frames. Then I have a couple dozen where I can't do anything and I'm completely vulnerable. This is why finding ways to cancel the lag of moves is so important. Falco's short hopped laser violates the normal rules of lag and space control because it keeps going after he's landed. He can do anything he wants now, he can move around and attack and the laser keeps going, controlling that block of space all the way across the stage. If you've played any other fighting games, you'll notice the same fact about characters with fireball type moves. Check out SRK or Sirlin's video tutorial for Super Turbo for more information on this hugely important subject--you'd better believe it when I say that Sirlin and Seth Killian's writings are a huge inspiration to me and to this section.

    So all this theory junk is nice, but how does it really apply to your game? Well, for starters, it should tell you how important spacing is. If you keep mistiming your attacks, then people will punish you for the lag of them. Second, it tells you that you cannot just throw out your attacks whenever you feel like, because opponents will be watching and waiting. You cannot mindlessly sacrifice the areas you have control over because you're getting antsy; that allows the opponent to push in on your territory and put you under his control. In short, you need to carefully time your attacks so that you are either hitting your opponent or, if you can't do that, NOT leave yourself in punishable lag.

    That opens up new possibilites for mindgames though, and makes it even more important that you understand spacing and the lag of moves. Did you know that Marth's n-air can be autocancelled out of a short hop (and fast fall) with the right timing, leaving him with only four frames of landing lag? The horizontal range of that move coupled with the autocancel means you have very little--if any--leeway to punish that move even if it misses you. Marth might even be missing the move on purpose to bait you into trying to punish a move that can't actually be punished.

    Understanding space control also helps you understand why dash dancing is such a strong strategy. Dash dancing has very little committment, since you can turn around and go the way you just came. For characters like Fox, you can do this with alarming speed. This means you can keep a wide area under your control. You can do shffl'ed aerials. You can grab. You can pivot into jabs, tilts and smashes. You can do running up smashes. And if you wind up in trouble, you can shield and roll away or dodge at any point. Dashdancing offers lots of mobility, control, and options, while minimizing committment. That helps you control a lot more space. And in the case of Fox, with his fantastic horizontal speed and smaller stature, he can move in and out of YOUR space. This means you have a much harder time knowing when to attack. And if you attack at the wrong moment, he will be out of your zone of control, you'll be in lag, and he can run back in quickly to punish you.

    Something interesting about space control is that it is SUBJECTIVE. YOUR ability to react determines when you are in potential danger from an attack. If an opponent is able to move towards you and attack before you can react, then you have to predict their movements and intercept them (which can be really tough when your opponent has better reflexes then you). You have to understand your own reflexes and predictions to know when an opponent is in a zone where he actually threatens you.

    Bringing it all together

    You are only as good as your worst skill. If you see the move coming and put your response in the wrong place, you lose. If you know what move will work but fumble when it comes time for execution, you lose.

    Your tech skill is contingent on your knowledge of how the game works: you know that there X frames of shield stun on THIS move rather than this one, so you know that your L-cancel needs to come this much later. And when you play against IC's, you know to compensate for two sets of shield stun, and of course, you can adjust.

    Your mindgames are based on your available options; if you can't wavedash, you don't have the ability to quickly move left or right, and if you can't drill shine precisely, then you can't pressure the opponent's shield. As mentioned earlier, the ability to ledge-hop can drastically increase your survivability on the ledge because it decreases your predictability. And even good mindgames are useless if you know the f-smash is coming and judge the distance wrong, getting tippered. Or if you know it's coming and try to down-tilt through it, not knowing that Marth's hitbox will reach you before you hit him.

    Spacing is useless if you get the distance right, but don't notice that your opponent was going to move at just that moment. It's also not much use if you try and d-smash just a moment too late, letting the opponent back on the ledge.

    Tactics are meaningless to a player without the ability to implement them, and if a curve ball comes for you during the tournament finals, you need to figure out how to hit it; the only way you can is if you know enough about the game to devise a solution.

    I hope this helps people looking to improve their game. Comments, feedback, and suggestions are all appreciated.
     
  2. B-Will

    B-Will
    Expand Collapse
    BRoomer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    1,806
    Location:
    Palo Alto, California

    I always love your posts, wobbles. You always have something actually useful to say.

    Great read I'll post more later.
     
  3. halfDemon

    halfDemon
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Lord

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,016
    Location:
    Buffalo Grove, Illinois
    That's actually a pretty good method of furthering mindgames... now if only I had those videos...

    Nice post. Now go finish it.
     
  4. ChozenOne

    ChozenOne
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Champion

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,592
    Location:
    Cheerleading Practice
    I'm alittle suprised that you didn't put spacing along with Technical Skill.. spacing seems like a subcatigory to me.. then again you did make the IC's Top Tier..

    Good Shizz Though.
     
  5. Wobbles

    Wobbles
    Expand Collapse
    Desert Eskimo

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,883
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ

    Edited and bumped for justice.
     
    -ACE- likes this.
  6. Zoap

    Zoap
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Master

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Messages:
    3,430
    Location:
    California
    excellent post wobbles, well worth the read and very well thought out, I agree about the habits everyone and their mother know i roll from the edge 80% of the time(but then again i dont have alot of options being as peach cant ledge hop :) ) I agree 100%
     
  7. Hank McCoy

    Hank McCoy
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Messages:
    501
    Location:
    The East
    spacing is technical skill because spatial perception is a technical skill. if you disagree, then recovery needs its own section.

    also, and this is just my own opinion, i would rename tactics to strategy as thats what i call it, but who really cares its the same thing.
     
  8. falco_4_life

    falco_4_life
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Lord

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,220
    Location:
    Abilene, TX
    nice post. all i read was the technical skill part cause i aint trying to read no book, but that part alone seemed to b right.

    I may read the rest later
     
  9. Wobbles

    Wobbles
    Expand Collapse
    Desert Eskimo

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,883
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ

    ...How does the separation of technical skill and spacing into two separate categories suddenly mean "recovery needs it's own section"? Recovery is a tactic and nothing more. Spacing, however, is a hugely applicable part of your game and is big enough to deserve its own complete section. Plus I've seen people who are slow, technically speaking, rarely think while they play and do only one or two moves, but use incredible spacing to beat a large majority of their opponents. The opponent cannot get around the wall of distance when they outshine the other person in what seems like every regard. Since it is possible to lack technical proficiency but have powerful spacing, it got its own section.

    You can't have good recovery if you forward+b when you mean to up+b, always recover the same way, don't know how to get around simple edgeguarding, and keep failing to sweet spot. Recovery is merely another part of the shifting battle of the game; it is not a personal characteristic that you, the player, possess. If you have technical skill, mindgames, tactics and spacing, then you WILL be good at making it back to the level. But you won't see somebody who is fantastic at recovery and then suck completely at everything else. It's possible that somebody would know more about recovery then normal play, or they grow more desperate and focused when they are knocked off the stage, but their ability to make it back is still defined by the four aspects.
     
  10. Vall3y

    Vall3y
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Lord

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,619
    Location:
    Israel
    thats a great post
    and a great explenation on why spacing gets its own section
     
  11. Hank McCoy

    Hank McCoy
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Messages:
    501
    Location:
    The East
    i dont think you understand. being able to judge spatial relationships (spacing) is the same as being able to know when you can grab someone before they shine. its just another tech skill.

    oh and people who can space well and do nothing more? thats still tech skill. for instance, i know people who can waveshine to hell but cant do marths doublefair properly at all. i know the opposite as well. i also know people who have crazy timing (for teching), but cant waveshine. there are different asspects of tech skill, spacing is one of those asspects.
     
  12. Wobbles

    Wobbles
    Expand Collapse
    Desert Eskimo

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,883
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ

    You're not even coming up with a real argument, you're just saying "I'm right because I am." How is a judgment you make based on input received through your eyes, a purely mental task, related to your physical dexterity and precision? Yes, spacing is partially based on timing, but it's ALSO based on mindgames and knowing how certain moves work. It's hybrid of the three other aspects with additional unique properties, not a subset of just one of them.

    And... no, judging a spatial relationship is not the same thing as timing a shield grab. Why? Because making accurate shield grabs is a combination of good timing (tech skill/spacing) and judging whether your opponent is even in range for one (spacing). Shield grabbing is not purely technical.

    Also, it's very simple for your technical skill to be good in one area when it is not accurate in another; you just haven't practiced the other techniques.

    Again, spacing has its own section because it is made of all three other aspects, as well as having its own unique components.
     
  13. ximrekcuf

    ximrekcuf
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Apprentice

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    122
    Location:
    Killeen, TX
    Kool post sir, you have insipiring my best friend to use IC's infinite grab combo or whatever and now he owns me even more badly... thanks for nothing... j/k! This is some useful info, ill exspecially take your advice on the mind games part.
     
  14. mood4food77

    mood4food77
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Hero

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Messages:
    5,970
    i like how you seperated spacing from technical skill, since it really determines how good a character is, along with speed of the moveset

    if you look, a character that can space very well does very good in tournaments, examples are marth and sheik, while characters who aren't very good at spacing don't, like pichu and kirby

    but i think spacing could've been put into technical skill and should've been more like knowing your character's limits and always thinking ahead, like will this hit him and can i still be out of his reach? and what percent is he at and will this work? like ganon's dthrow to dsmash works on marth at 0-20% roughly, which the dsmash can lead to about 3 uairs if you can be fast enough, which leads into a very good combo, but after around 20%, the dsmash isn't fast enough so you have to think of something different like a bair instead and try to follow that up

    get what i'm saying?
     
  15. South_Paw

    South_Paw
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Ace

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Messages:
    702
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    before i forget, rob you should make a ic's guide... it'll be a REVOLUTION!!!

    but seriously, you have some great desynchs that id never seen before...
     
  16. Sushiman

    Sushiman
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Messages:
    418
    Location:
    Fountain Valley, CA
    Great post! I'm going to try to increase my mindgame level by considering your suggestions. Thanks.
     
  17. Wobbles

    Wobbles
    Expand Collapse
    Desert Eskimo

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,883
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ

    Well, much as I like watching my hard work fade into obscurity behind the legendary threads like, "how good are you" and a "worst excuses" thread, I'm going to continue bumping this because I believe it will help people improve. I think I'll change the topic name too, so that it attracts more people into reading this. Something like, "lol I was zelda and did a funny thing."
     
  18. Metà

    Metà
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Master

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    4,248
    Location:
    Coquitlam (Vancouver), BC
    Wobbles, you are a genius. It's funny how much I've thought about this, and all of my thoughts, you described in detail and elaborated upon. Your skills as a writer/debator almost surpass your skill as a player! :laugh: It's people like you that make me love this community so much. You are officially on my 'totally awesome' list. ^ ^
     
  19. nitro-blazer

    nitro-blazer
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Lord

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,398
    Location:
    Donkey Kong.
    What about the question: 'Why can I do it when I'm facing someone, but not when I'm actually trying to train it?'

    Still, great post. I've alwyas had spacing troubles, always. Now I realize how much I need to work on it. I also had the same idea of what mindgames are, prediction and predictability. Still, it should help out my game in some way or another, especially once I work on my spacing.
     
  20. Wobbles

    Wobbles
    Expand Collapse
    Desert Eskimo

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,883
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ

    To Meta: Needs moar desu.
     
  21. Coen

    Coen
    Expand Collapse
    BRoomer

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    2,221
    Location:
    Netherlands

    Wobbles, may I congratulate you with the best post ever?

    Even though I knew all this because I've researched the psychological part of smash as well and recognized a lot of what you said, it was still one of the best reads about smash I've ever had.

    Did I already mention you're too good?
     
  22. Smooth Criminal

    Smooth Criminal
    Expand Collapse
    boop'd

    • Premium
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Messages:
    13,222
    Location:
    Hinckley, Minnesota
    NNID:
    boundless_light
    I really enjoyed reading this thread. Wobbles, your post was extremely insightful.
     
    AEMehr likes this.
  23. Rohins

    Rohins
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Lord

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,585
    Location:
    Winter Park, FL
    NNID:
    Rohins
    This is a very informative thread. I liked how you mentioned technical skill (ultimately) is being able to do what you want when you intend it. What I notice though is that people will focus very hard on improving very difficult techs (swd, infinites, etc) but will neglect the basics. This will often lead to good, simple moves being under-utilized for the sake of attempting more impressive ones.

    I also wanted to add another factor to the "Why is it that I can do stuff against a CPU, but when I play against a person I lose my ability?" section. CPUs don't hit back as hard as people and it can psyche you out if you're not used to getting comboed. Fighting someone who fights back adds an extra pressure and can reduce your performance significantly if you're not used to it. I would also say that it can put you in a mindstate where you focus too much on your errors thinking "oh man I'm playing bad" rather than focussing and trying to get back in control of the match.
     
  24. Gimpyfish62

    Gimpyfish62
    Expand Collapse
    Banned (62 points)

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    12,278
    Location:
    Edmonds, Washington

    there may be people who consider spacing as important as me? i still think thats not true. but i'm glad spacing is a section.

    good stuff.
     
  25. taylorb9113

    taylorb9113
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Cadet

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    41
    Great posts. Very informative and intellectual.

    I think Spacing is pretty important, Gimpy.. Do you have a GFaqs account..? For some reason, I think I've seen your name before. Maybe just reading on Smashboards o.O
     
  26. ROB_[MCC}

    ROB_[MCC}
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Apprentice

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Messages:
    177
    For every 100 meaningless threads, we're sometimes lucky enough to get one like this. I truly enjoyed reading this. High fives for Wobbles!
     
  27. pressthebutton

    pressthebutton
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Apprentice

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    199
    Location:
    san diego, CA
    wow, great read. really gets you thinking. I'm curious as to where Wes(the famous samus one) and HugS would go under. I know they're both really mindgame-oriented, but they have very different play styles. do they both fall mostly under mindgames, but show their mindgames in different ways, or is it because one focuses more on spacing(probably hugs) and the other in tactics and tech skill(probably wes)? should i even bring this up? lol.
     
  28. Wobbles

    Wobbles
    Expand Collapse
    Desert Eskimo

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,883
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ

    I can't really say for certain, but it's not really an issue of "where they fall under," you know? They both possess skill in all four aspects, which is why they're incredibly good players. HugS plays a slower game than Wes, and focuses a lot more on spacing and simple mindgames. I've never really seen Wes play, but I'm assuming this based on what I've heard about him and what I've seen of HugS. If I'm right, Wes uses a lot of quick movements and fakeouts when he plays--somebody correct me if I'm wrong--but both players have strength in all four parts of the game. It's merely a question of how they choose to play, which is where your playstyle becomes evident.
     
  29. Captain_Obvious

    Captain_Obvious
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    485
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    This needs stickied. Excellent philosophical thread.

    - Captain R.D. Obvious
     
  30. yorpy

    yorpy
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    355
    Wow, I never really thought about any of the skills mentioned above execpt mindgames, but now I can improve, thanks Wobbles!
     
  31. Wobbles

    Wobbles
    Expand Collapse
    Desert Eskimo

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,883
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ

    Edited: A bit more info in technical skill, thanks to Rohins.
     
  32. UGC: Kidd

    UGC: Kidd
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Cadet

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    59
    please don't read this!

    In 1945,a young girl named katu lata kulu came over to America in a grey boat from Africa. A mysterious man killed her by cutting the word "LATUALATUKA" into her back. now that you have read this measge she will come to your house on a full moon and steal your soul unless you follow these directions:
    1. Retype this message as a comment for three other boards
     
  33. Metà

    Metà
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Master

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    4,248
    Location:
    Coquitlam (Vancouver), BC
    Wow, how incredibly lame; it's like chain mail for webforums. 0o
     
  34. TheCatPhysician

    TheCatPhysician
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Messages:
    976
    Location:
    Cordova, Alaska
    Very very nice article. I was always confused about how thinking consciously works in matches, because if I don't ever play consciously, I never break out of stupid habits and never really get better. But I was thrown off when I heard that top players say they play subconsciously, so this has put all that into context for me.

    And at first I disagreed with putting spacing outside of tech skill, but now I realize you're very right about that. I have one friend who plays every once in a while, and he isn't interested in learning advanced techniques or anything. But he's very good at spacing and is able to get a lot of tipper'd f-smashes against people, and always takes advantage of whenever the opponent doesn't DI away from a forward or back throw with a f-smash.
     
  35. AltF4

    AltF4
    Expand Collapse
    BRoomer

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Messages:
    5,045
    Location:
    2.412 – 2.462 GHz

    Unless you're Taj... then every game is a combo video of you. Lol.

    Excellent post Wobbles. What's great about your synopsis isn't just that you define the four aspects of smash very well, but you give insight into how to improve each area specifically. If I were to ask any more of your article, I would like to hear some more training tips. And common training mistakes and pitfalls. (Like making yourself too predictable by over practicing specific combos)
     
  36. Soanevalck

    Soanevalck
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Ace

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    507
    Location:
    Montgomery, New York
    yeah, very nice post, this confirms that what I've been practicing lately works, thanks for making this thread
     
  37. PichuFTW

    PichuFTW
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Running underneath a jolt wall...
    incredibly useful post! great information indeed. Maybe I'll actually start being more analytical while I play and start watching matches people tape of me and i'll be able to get over the hump i'm at right now skillwise. thanks a lot, wobbles!
     
  38. .22%

    .22%
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Apprentice

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Messages:
    152
    Location:
    I move a lot
    yeah. you forgot a REALLY big one: luck

    hay its part of the game. like when you can ethier run at them with an attack or jump at them with an attack and you choose your first choice which luckfully worked out for you cuz you would have jumped right into an laser(z) of an arwing.
     
  39. AltF4

    AltF4
    Expand Collapse
    BRoomer

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Messages:
    5,045
    Location:
    2.412 – 2.462 GHz

    "In my experience, there is no such thing as 'Luck'"
    -Obi Wan Kenobi
     
  40. Ryuker

    Ryuker
    Expand Collapse
    Smash Lord

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Messages:
    1,519
    Location:
    The Hague , Netherlands
    Really informative and well explained post and makes a lot of sense. I think to be a really good player you need to not just fall in one of these categories or be really good at one of them but actually need to capable of doing all of this up to a certain point since its all connected. Espescially spacing cause you can't really space well if you can't anticipate or lure somebody. I also think being in control of youself is really important and by that I mean not getting caried away staying focussed and like you say give up when something isn't going well. I think I lost count how many times I've told people not to whine about there performance or their techskill or their controller but I think a lot people still have problems with that and its usually one of the first things I try to tackle when giving someone advice when they ask for it.
     

Share This Page

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)

We know you don't like ads
Why not buy Premium?