What will it take to make the heavy characters more viable all around?

Quillion

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#1
Let's face it: for anyone who has a modicum of skill beyond "only at social events" casual play, heavy characters just can't match up to the speedsters in Smash. It has been this way every since Smash 64, and while they've been taking baby steps to correct this every iteration, they never fix the problem. Not even Project M or any other Brawl mod could completely work past the limitations of the Brawl engine keeping heavy characters from stacking up.

I personally have two separate ideas on how they could fix this, though both have their issues:
  1. I posted this on the Ganondorf Ultimate thread about a week ago, but I thought about giving each move different hitstun so that heavier hits are easier to combo into regardless of knockback. Currently, hitstun is almost completely dependent on knockback as far back as Smash 64; I feel one way to fix heavies is to give them high-hitstun, low-knockback moves so that they could easily link to each other. The problem with this is that heavy characters might not feel like heavy characters anymore since their combo ability would match the speedsters, homogenizing the game.
  2. My other idea is to make it so that each successive move in a combo increases the base knockback (BKB) but decreases knockback growth (KBG). This way, each move in a combo makes it harder to continue as each move knocks the opponent further and further away, but it also makes it less rewarding to combo into a finisher since the knockback growth of the finisher is reduced. The problem with this is that it gimps the combo ability that makes the speedsters so enjoyable. And after Brawl, I don't think a lot of fans want gimped combo potential ever again.
So what do you think? Are there other ways to make heavy characters viable? Is making the heavy characters as viable as the speedsters even a remotely achievable goal?
 

NMResonance

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#2
The global aerial landing lag reduction we seem to be seeing in Ultimate will benefit heavies disproportionately since they usually have more landing lag to reduce in the first place.

Shields still seem pretty strong, so I think that selectively increasing shieldstun on strong moves would also help, giving heavies more options that are safe on block. Selectively increasing shield damage on strong moves could really make heavies scary to play around, but may be tough to balance.

You could also add character-specific gimmicks. Example: Dedede doesn't have the mobility or frame data on his moves to compete in neutral. Gordos are a neat idea to remedy this; they're powerful, stay out for a long time, and Dedede can throw them out at a pretty unusual range of trajectories, so they threaten a lot of space. Sadly, the reflection mechanic makes them pretty awful for stage control. Lifting the threshold from 2% to say, 16%, would go a long way toward making him viable.
 
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Quillion

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#3
The global aerial landing lag reduction we seem to be seeing in Ultimate will benefit heavies disproportionately since they usually have more landing lag to reduce in the first place.
Still, I don't think it'll be much if speedsters can still do more DPS than heavies thanks to the latter's combo ability. The attack windups and high knockback undermines their DPS.

Shields still seem pretty strong, so I think that selectively increasing shieldstun on strong moves would also help, giving heavies more options that are safe on block. Selectively increasing shield damage on strong moves could really make heavies scary to play around, but may be tough to balance.
Come to think of it, the revamped Perfect Shield essentially being Smash's parry system could really help heavies if it enhances the bait-and-punish game.

You could also add character-specific gimmicks.
I'm sorry, but no. Balancing because of a central gimmick just doesn't work. If gimmicks have to be in, it has to serve balance, not the other way around.
 

lordvaati

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#4
Heavy characters were viable in Sm4sh though-DK and Bowser in particular were among the most popular pocket characters alongside Cloud at many tournaments.
One of the contributing factors was due to the Rage mechanic being a boon for them, and with Ultimate delivering a slight Nerf by raising the % requirement they actually help heavies more since they can rely on it easier then anyone else.
 

Milky2Milk

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#6
The video with Ganon spamming neutral-airs might suggest that heavy characters have alot less landing lag. This could allow them to be more offensive and defensive which is a rather large buff.
 

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#7
What fighting games have hard large heavyweights or big characters be top tier? If so what made them work?
There's a lot! From recent examples, we had Abigail in Street Fighter V, Android 16 in FighterZ and Jack in Tekken 7. Former two got nerfed, but are still viable (Abigail arguably still top tier). SFV also had Zangief last season and Birdie who is still kinda silly.

Buut, it's kinda hard to compare them to Smash since it's so fundamentally different. A lot of time the big bodies in fighting games are characters that get the most out of okizeme and setplay, which is to say once they get the advantage they can really, really keep it. I'm not too knowledgeable on Tekken so I can't speak about Jack, but Abigail and Android 16 were the kind of characters that could convert any hit (usually with armor or biiig normals) into a knockdown and force you into a 50/50 situation on wakeup no matter what, and kill you in a reset or two. Birdie is a bit more interesting in that while his okizeme isn't as good, his neutral is REALLY good, because he had big, safe normals that are basically hard for most character to safely contest or punish, an easy time to stuff approaches with his setups, and basically buttons that could win neutral outright, and he still had setplay of his own either way.

I don't think I'm articulating myself too well here and obviously it's a lot more nuanced than that. In regards to Smash, it doesn't have setplay in the same vein as traditional fighters, but you can still give big bodies big, safe buttons to threaten with in neutral, and that's actually what Ultimate is doing. Couple that with giving them a really good punish game and I think heavies can strive. I'm personally excited for DK and Zard in this one.
 

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#8
What fighting games have hard large heavyweights or big characters be top tier? If so what made them work?
Tager in the Blazblue games kinda jumps up and down on lists due to game changes but generally if he's good it's because his magnet gimmick helping him drag his opponent into his grabs and setups really well (plus he has a projectile that shoots people towards him if it hits), in BBTag he gets quite a bit of help having another body for assists and such helping him setup even better.

it honestly really depends on the game. I think Zangief was really good in early Street Fighter 4 or one of its updates but then got nerfed for whatever reason but I need someone more knowledgable in that to confirm for sure, I play SF4 casually.
 

spinalwolf

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#10
As far as super heavies are concerned (which is what I'm assuming you're talking about), their biggest issues are the fact that they are combo food, usually slow both framedata wise and mobility overall, and have it the worse when it comes to disadvantage state. Fortunately ultimate seems to fix the issues of the super heavies having a ton of lag on their moves, but then there's the other issues I mentioned. Personally, I think other than making their normals and aerials faster, I don't think buffing anything else about them would be a good idea. Since that would destroy the point of playing a super heavy. rather I think its a better idea to simply buff things to compensate for their weaknesses. Like giving them a good damage output, giving them great kill confirms, and just overall being able to get rewarded more for playing neutral better and having to win neutral fewer times with characters who have better neutral games in general.
 

Quillion

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#11
Can you ELI5 what these are and how Smash can apply them, please? I honestly have no idea what you are talking about.

Well there’s Snake in Brawl who is a good viable character and one of the heavier ones too
Eh... Snake was certainly viable, but I think he's a heavy who was viable for the wrong reasons (at least in Brawl). It may just be his animations, but his attacks didn't feel like they had any weight. Also, he was over reliant on spamming grenades and camping.

Melee Ganon and Smash 4 DK may not have been as high tier, but I find them much better designed, IMO.

As far as super heavies are concerned (which is what I'm assuming you're talking about), their biggest issues are the fact that they are combo food, usually slow both framedata wise and mobility overall, and have it the worse when it comes to disadvantage state. Fortunately ultimate seems to fix the issues of the super heavies having a ton of lag on their moves, but then there's the other issues I mentioned. Personally, I think other than making their normals and aerials faster, I don't think buffing anything else about them would be a good idea. Since that would destroy the point of playing a super heavy. rather I think its a better idea to simply buff things to compensate for their weaknesses. Like giving them a good damage output, giving them great kill confirms, and just overall being able to get rewarded more for playing neutral better and having to win neutral fewer times with characters who have better neutral games in general.
Yeah, that's why I think that buffs to the heavy cast need to come from outright changes to the whole engine and not just adjustment of the numbers for each individual character.

The engine needs to change to give the heavies more DPS; they can't just be buffed to do a Sheik combo's worth of damage in a single hit.
 

**Gilgamesh**

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#12
Snake:ultsnake: has been the only super heavyweight to be Top Tier in a smash game.
People said that in the demo he was very heavy as well.
 
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Spinosaurus

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#13
Can you ELI5 what these are and how Smash can apply them, please? I honestly have no idea what you are talking about.
Okizeme is basically pressuring your opponent during their wakeup. In traditional fighting games, you normally convert hits into knocking down the opponent, and from there it's a perfect opportunity to maintain advantage when they're getting up from the ground. If you wanna get to the meat of it or understand it better, this video is a good one.

I'd say the equivalent to that in Smash would be, effectively, ledge trapping. Imagine if heavies in Smash had options that covered multiple ledge options and could reliably kill or edgeguard from that? It'd be a pretty big boon to them! The problem is that the best ledge trappers typically are the usual suspects.
 

Quillion

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#15
I'd say the equivalent to that in Smash would be, effectively, ledge trapping. Imagine if heavies in Smash had options that covered multiple ledge options and could reliably kill or edgeguard from that? It'd be a pretty big boon to them! The problem is that the best ledge trappers typically are the usual suspects.
According to this video, Dedede's Gordo is actually a very good ledge trap. It's just that his stronger attacks are so glacier slow that he can't stack up overall.

Bowser and Zard could probably have their neutral B buffed so that it has a larger range and hitbox and dissipates slower. It should also have low endlag so that they can easily finish off a trapped opponent.

Ganondorf's neutral jab could be like the "waves of darkness" jab in the Project Ganondorf mod for PM. They just would need to add the dark energy to the existing animation.

My suggestion is to give more moves armor so that heavies can blow through stuff (but still take damage).
Grabs would still be a nuisance, though...
 
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Quillion

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#17
That's fine. Nothing should be 100% risk-free.
So how would fights against heavies not devolve into the opponent repeatedly grabbing the heavy? The windups and after lag on heavy character moves don't really support grab defense.
 

lordvaati

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#18
What fighting games have hard large heavyweights or big characters be top tier? If so what made them work?
Zangief in Hyper Fighting, Sentinel in MvC2, Potemkin in Accent core, D3 and Snake in Brawl, astaroth in Soul Calibur II.

top of me head.
 

Badrat

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#19
This is a very interesting topic hmm balance is the problem if you take something that keeps them in check you can risk having broke powerhouses everywhere I think the key is to nerf speedy speedsters maybe making them not able to grab heavys for long at all or click for a few seconds to be able to do anything with the grab giving them time to get out of it or having some sort of thing to check how much thay can run
 
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circuspig

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#20
fat characters were inherently worse at getting off the ground in previous titles and its not really like that anymore from the universal jumpsquat, i think that's fairly significant.
 

Quillion

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#21
fat characters were inherently worse at getting off the ground in previous titles and its not really like that anymore from the universal jumpsquat, i think that's fairly significant.
Giving the heavies things to use in the air is a different question, though. It's not like they could do much when they got in the air in previous Smashes.
 

MBRedboy31

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#22
I find it hard to imagine super heavyweight characters in Smash in general ever being especially good, however, due to one thing that Smash’s balancing has to deal with that traditional fighters and many other platform fighters don’t, that being preventing heavyweight characters from being busted in casual play, especially with online lag. In such a scenario, their extreme strength and reach becomes a major plus (you have to get the KO’s first in time matches, so you’ll want to seal stocks as early as possible, and long reach means that dropped inputs online don’t affect your spacing as much) and their weaknesses (such as being easy to combo) are harder to exploit.

It really is a difficult balancing act here, isn’t it?

Smash 4 did seem to try to balance it out for a few super heavyweights (like DK and Bowser) by giving them throw followups that more casual players are comparatively less likely to know about... a knowledge gap probably isn’t the best method for trying to balance them across playstyles, though. Hmm...
 

Quillion

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#23
I find it hard to imagine super heavyweight characters in Smash in general ever being especially good, however, due to one thing that Smash’s balancing has to deal with that traditional fighters and many other platform fighters don’t, that being preventing heavyweight characters from being busted in casual play, especially with online lag. In such a scenario, their extreme strength and reach becomes a major plus (you have to get the KO’s first in time matches, so you’ll want to seal stocks as early as possible, and long reach means that dropped inputs online don’t affect your spacing as much) and their weaknesses (such as being easy to combo) are harder to exploit.

It really is a difficult balancing act here, isn’t it?

Smash 4 did seem to try to balance it out for a few super heavyweights (like DK and Bowser) by giving them throw followups that more casual players are comparatively less likely to know about... a knowledge gap probably isn’t the best method for trying to balance them across playstyles, though. Hmm...
I don't buy this argument. Characters like Fox and Pikachu have always had overly powerful finishers that seem to go against how fast they are. It just doesn't make sense to me that they give speedsters such powerful finishers when, even at low-level play, they're meant to rack up damage more than anything.
 

MBRedboy31

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#24
I don't buy this argument. Characters like Fox and Pikachu have always had overly powerful finishers that seem to go against how fast they are. It just doesn't make sense to me that they give speedsters such powerful finishers when, even at low-level play, they're meant to rack up damage more than anything.
They still have less range, though, as per my point about spacing in online lag. But, regardless, if you go to online With Anyone FFA matches, you’re probably less likely to see Fox or Pikachu up smash spam among less experienced players, compared to alternatives. It’s likely more of a perception thing than based on what’s actually better (Fox or Pikachu u-smash being so strong probably isn’t what would immediately come to mind to a casual player who is new to Smash) which is pretty flawed as a way to rebalance a game, but it’s something they have to deal with.
 

King9999

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#25
So how would fights against heavies not devolve into the opponent repeatedly grabbing the heavy? The windups and after lag on heavy character moves don't really support grab defense.
The opponent can't always react to your attacks unless you're being predictable. You might know how to punish something but you could miss the opportunity.
 

link2702

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#26
Give a lot of em super armor on more moves as well as the no flinch mechanic when hit by weaker moves that bowser got and that would help heavies a lot.
 

King9999

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#27
What I'm about to say doesn't just apply to Smash, but I feel like there are unwritten rules for designing heavies which cripple game designers. Like they can never have projectiles or a teleport, otherwise they're OP. It's why I was surprised by the existence of characters like Tager from Blazblue, because he's not a typical grappler (and he's also not OP). He still has the same disadvantages that are common among heavy fighters/grapplers, but his strengths are things that aren't usually associated with heavies.

  • He has a projectile, and a very good one at that. It's fast, and destroys other projectiles.
  • He can pull the opponent to him, giving him massive range on his throws.
  • He has an invincible backdash that he can use to setup a command grab.
On paper, he sounds OP but in practice he really isn't, but that doesn't stop him from being fun to use. I would like more designers to experiment with giving heavy characters tools that aren't commonly associated with them.
 

Quillion

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#28
On paper, he sounds OP but in practice he really isn't, but that doesn't stop him from being fun to use. I would like more designers to experiment with giving heavy characters tools that aren't commonly associated with them.
When it comes to characters already in Smash, I'd say Snake already kinda counts as a heavy with non-heavy tools. Again, though, I find Brawl Snake poorly designed as a heavy. They either need to make his moves have more "weight" to them, or take away his heavy weight and high strength.
 

circuspig

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#29
the greatest negative to the slow but strong archetype in smash will always be movement. hitboxes are hitboxes. the only thing that would directly tie to their buttons is if the slow but strong archetype is reflected in their moveset and they get slow moves as a result. the effect of this is lessened by decreasing the gap between the fastest and slowest characters in the game, but even then if two characters are identical except for their movement speed then optimally the faster one will still win. that is why i say that a chunk of this fundamental problem is solved by making everybody get into the air the same. obviously, smash isnt just a game between a fast character and an identical slow character. so this idea is much much more fleshed out and open to interpretation between two opponents based off the character they pick. that's the goal of a good fighting game.
 
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Badrat

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#30
This is a very interesting topic hmm balance is the problem if you take something that keeps them in check you can risk having broke powerhouses everywhere I think the key is to nerf speedy speedsters maybe making them not able to grab heavys for long at all or click for a few seconds to be able to do anything with the grab giving them time to get out of it or having some sort of thing to check how much thay can run
Edited my first post by the time I finished my post got buried by other posts so bumping it
 

KingDoop

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#31
take Bowser's tough guy armor and expand on it. The issue with heavies is at the start of the match someone like mario can rush in and u-tilt then add in a dozen other combos, and just like that you're at 70% and the whole point of being heavy is lost.

But let's say various weak hitting, combo starting moves dont effect the super heavies until a certain percent. So in the mario example, his u-tilt wouldn't juggle until Bowser is at (and I'm just making up percents here) about 20%.

Something I think this would help with is making the game more...canonical? Most of these heavies aren't just big characters, they're boss characters. Final bosses at that. But as it stands we have Mario basically able to bully ganondorf and DDD which I don't think looks right
 

**Gilgamesh**

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#32
Zangief in Hyper Fighting, Sentinel in MvC2, Potemkin in Accent core, D3 and Snake in Brawl, astaroth in Soul Calibur II.

top of me head.
D3 was not top tier in brawl ; character had hard counters and counters against most of the top tiers. Snake was top tier but fell all the way to 6th.
 
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Quillion

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#33
take Bowser's tough guy armor and expand on it. The issue with heavies is at the start of the match someone like mario can rush in and u-tilt then add in a dozen other combos, and just like that you're at 70% and the whole point of being heavy is lost.

But let's say various weak hitting, combo starting moves dont effect the super heavies until a certain percent. So in the mario example, his u-tilt wouldn't juggle until Bowser is at (and I'm just making up percents here) about 20%.

Something I think this would help with is making the game more...canonical? Most of these heavies aren't just big characters, they're boss characters. Final bosses at that. But as it stands we have Mario basically able to bully ganondorf and DDD which I don't think looks right
Hmmm... what if Smash had something like a poise system? Different characters could have different amounts of poise (with the heavies getting the lion's share and the speedsters getting the scraps), and different attacks could have different poise damage that are independent of percent. For example, Mario's fireballs could flinch Bowser as that's what projectiles are supposed to do, but his jabs nor his f-tilt wouldn't.
 

Necro'lic

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#34
What fighting games have hard large heavyweights or big characters be top tier? If so what made them work?
I don't play many fighters, but I definitely have seen heavies, at the very least, not be bottom tier. Mostly in Pokken Tournament and ARMS. And it has to do with a few things.

For Pokken, I can focus on Machamp, Garchomp, and Charizard, the premier heavies. The reason these three are a huge threat has to do with different things, but I think the main reason is due to counter attacks in that game allowing slow characters to deal with camping strategies in a brute force manner. Specifically, the counter attack dash cancel. Machamps use this extensively to approach, while Garchomps and Charizards use other things.

Another thing is that the rule usually is the slower the character, the better their close range options in neutral are. Machamp has the best overall frame data in Pokken, and it shows if you get close to him. Charizard's is average, but makes up for it by having high aerial mobility and absolutely devastating grab game potential, as well as one of the best field phases of the heavies. Garchomp has bad frame data overall, but is THE premier monster of advantageous position. Basically if Garchomp gets into an advantage state, then he can potentially end the round right then with only three reads.

The other very important factor is hurtbox size. In Pokken, hurtboxes are signified by a height system, and rarely does the physical size of the character come into play. It only does for aerial moves. This means while in a neutral standing state, all characters have the exact same hurtbox for moves that are not classified as aerial. This little detail goes a long way, because it removes the bigger hurtbox problem that plagues Smash.

For ARMS, we have Max Brass, Master Mummy, and Mechanica. The way this game deals with heavies being bad is a very specific dash speed minimum. Mummy, the overall slowest character when counting abilities, has a dash speed of 85% and a walk speed of 86%, which compared to the fastest character, Ninjara, with 111% and 118% respectively, is an overall marginal decrease in speed. This means that ARMS that are meant to be dashed to be avoided can be done by every character. This also means that the heavy characters' neutral game is rather similar to all other characters, but is actually better due to Super Armor, but that isn't really required for this discussion.

The other thing involving defense is jumps. Jump height in ARMS is uniform throughout the cast, so Mummy, Brass, and Mechanica jump just as high as Ninjara. This means ARMS that are meant to be dodged by jumping can be done by everyone, again furthering heavies' neutral game. Basically heavies in neutral are not too disadvantaged, and the disadvantage comes less from overall neutral and more with positioning.

The last thing is frame data. ARMS in frame data is not character specific, but instead is specific to the ARMS, furthering the universality of these things that heavies usually have in Smash to be relegated to basically everyone. However, the bigger a character's arm size, the more frame data works in their favor due to the weirdness of projectiles in ARMS. Since heavies are at the upper spectrum in terms of arm size, this results in an overall frame data advantage compared to smaller characters, if only slightly.
 

Quillion

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#35
I don't play many fighters, but I definitely have seen heavies, at the very least, not be bottom tier. Mostly in Pokken Tournament and ARMS. And it has to do with a few things.
Let's see if we can apply what they do to Smash, then.

For Pokken, I can focus on Machamp, Garchomp, and Charizard, the premier heavies. The reason these three are a huge threat has to do with different things, but I think the main reason is due to counter attacks in that game allowing slow characters to deal with camping strategies in a brute force manner. Specifically, the counter attack dash cancel. Machamps use this extensively to approach, while Garchomps and Charizards use other things.
Yeah, in Smash the heavies have really bad approach options due to poor mobility and range. Smash 4 tried to fix this a bit by giving "spinning" moves like Bowser and DK's respective up-Bs the ability to go through weak projectiles. Maybe Ultimate's revamped Perfect Shield could improve this further by providing a more rewarding method of approach and punishing.

Another thing is that the rule usually is the slower the character, the better their close range options in neutral are. Machamp has the best overall frame data in Pokken, and it shows if you get close to him. Charizard's is average, but makes up for it by having high aerial mobility and absolutely devastating grab game potential, as well as one of the best field phases of the heavies. Garchomp has bad frame data overall, but is THE premier monster of advantageous position. Basically if Garchomp gets into an advantage state, then he can potentially end the round right then with only three reads.
Heavies in Smash tend to have really bad frame data as well. We don't exactly have any equivalent to Machamp. I guess C. Falcon could count as a mobile heavy, but he actually manages to have some fast, weak attacks mixed in with his finishers.

The other very important factor is hurtbox size. In Pokken, hurtboxes are signified by a height system, and rarely does the physical size of the character come into play. It only does for aerial moves. This means while in a neutral standing state, all characters have the exact same hurtbox for moves that are not classified as aerial. This little detail goes a long way, because it removes the bigger hurtbox problem that plagues Smash.
Yeah, Smash isn't going to fix that problem. The camera would make it look really weird.

For ARMS, we have Max Brass, Master Mummy, and Mechanica. The way this game deals with heavies being bad is a very specific dash speed minimum. Mummy, the overall slowest character when counting abilities, has a dash speed of 85% and a walk speed of 86%, which compared to the fastest character, Ninjara, with 111% and 118% respectively, is an overall marginal decrease in speed. This means that ARMS that are meant to be dashed to be avoided can be done by every character. This also means that the heavy characters' neutral game is rather similar to all other characters, but is actually better due to Super Armor, but that isn't really required for this discussion

The other thing involving defense is jumps. Jump height in ARMS is uniform throughout the cast, so Mummy, Brass, and Mechanica jump just as high as Ninjara. This means ARMS that are meant to be dodged by jumping can be done by everyone, again furthering heavies' neutral game. Basically heavies in neutral are not too disadvantaged, and the disadvantage comes less from overall neutral and more with positioning.

The last thing is frame data. ARMS in frame data is not character specific, but instead is specific to the ARMS, furthering the universality of these things that heavies usually have in Smash to be relegated to basically everyone. However, the bigger a character's arm size, the more frame data works in their favor due to the weirdness of projectiles in ARMS. Since heavies are at the upper spectrum in terms of arm size, this results in an overall frame data advantage compared to smaller characters, if only slightly.
Ultimate actually is doing some of the things that ARMS is doing. Jumpsquats and landing lag for attacks are more uniform now, meaning heavies can take advantage of their heavy hits a bit easier. There's still a massive gap between the fastest and slowest character, though. Actually, I've always had this nagging feeling that Smash's speed gap between the fastest and slowest characters was way too big. Either they'll need to give the slowest characters different advantages, or they need to lessen the gap between them and the fastest characters.
 

Octorockandroll

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#36
Honestly, I think the future is looking pretty bright for heavy players with smash ultimate for all the reasons mentioned here and more. The balloon knockback seems to be discouraging combos, which means that strong attacks that can do a ton of damage and knockback with only a few strikes are going to be dominant, and that's pretty much a heavy character's calling card. We may even see them be boosted to the top of the metagame for the first time in Smash history.
 

Necro'lic

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
104
#37
Maybe Ultimate's revamped Perfect Shield could improve this further by providing a more rewarding method of approach and punishing.
I actually think the new Perfect Shield is going to make approaching worse for heavies since they need to actually set it up first, so it isn't a brute force method of approach really. In fact, this could ruin a lot of approach options for characters now that I think of it. This won't be a huge problem with run canceling, but it's still not looking great for the heavies.



Heavies in Smash tend to have really bad frame data as well. We don't exactly have any equivalent to Machamp. I guess C. Falcon could count as a mobile heavy, but he actually manages to have some fast, weak attacks mixed in with his finishers.
Something I noticed in Pokken, the only semi-traditional fighter that has EVER held my interest, is that every single character has at least some form of fast poke, fast jab, quick combo starter, counter move, and basically they all have some general form of these basic tools which is another reason why even after almost 3 years, there still isn't a solidified tier list in that game, because every character has the same overall basic tools to function and the imba stuff comes from special properties and moves rather than overall ability to even function. Heavies haven't had this distinct except for maybe DK in Smash 4 with his rather fast moves, but obviously not fast enough.

EVERY character needs a good amount of fast moves to work, even if they are a powerhouse. It makes too much sense. The more universality the characters have, the easier they are to balance. It's also why I came up with a more universal wavedash idea that would work the exact same for every character, because the more universal defensive options there are, the better. Check out this article from David Sirlin, a fighting game designer, on why Guilty Gear does this so well and why as a result their character design is so crazy yet still balances itself basically.



Ultimate actually is doing some of the things that ARMS is doing. Jumpsquats and landing lag for attacks are more uniform now, meaning heavies can take advantage of their heavy hits a bit easier. There's still a massive gap between the fastest and slowest character, though. Actually, I've always had this nagging feeling that Smash's speed gap between the fastest and slowest characters was way too big. Either they'll need to give the slowest characters different advantages, or they need to lessen the gap between them and the fastest characters.
I fully agree with you on the speed gap, but honestly, with how much more centered this game is on aerial combat compared to other fighting games, you can get away with the weird speeds of Jigglypuff or Wario much easier due to having more than just walk speed and run speed. They have gravity, horizontal air speed, vertical air speed, fast fall speed, among a few other things that can help out with this. However, I do agree that the OVERALL slowest character should be much faster, and that character usually is Ganondorf. Again, I'm talking about movement speed here, not frame data, although like I said previously, that should be more standardized as well.
 

Quillion

Smash Champion
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
2,225
#38
I actually think the new Perfect Shield is going to make approaching worse for heavies since they need to actually set it up first, so it isn't a brute force method of approach really. In fact, this could ruin a lot of approach options for characters now that I think of it. This won't be a huge problem with run canceling, but it's still not looking great for the heavies.
Do we know if you actually need your shield to be up for Perfect Shield to work? From what I understood, just tapping the shield button and and timing the "release" to the Perfect Shield window works fine.

I fully agree with you on the speed gap, but honestly, with how much more centered this game is on aerial combat compared to other fighting games, you can get away with the weird speeds of Jigglypuff or Wario much easier due to having more than just walk speed and run speed. They have gravity, horizontal air speed, vertical air speed, fast fall speed, among a few other things that can help out with this. However, I do agree that the OVERALL slowest character should be much faster, and that character usually is Ganondorf. Again, I'm talking about movement speed here, not frame data, although like I said previously, that should be more standardized as well.
I feel that frame data is subject to the "speed gap" as well. That really needs to be lessened, either by giving the heavy characters actual combo moves or quickening up their frame data a bit overall.
 

Necro'lic

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
104
#39
Do we know if you actually need your shield to be up for Perfect Shield to work? From what I understood, just tapping the shield button and and timing the "release" to the Perfect Shield window works fine.
Yes, you need your shield to be up to perfect shield now. It's not like powershielding where you simply hit the shield button at the moment of impact, so there is a commitment to perfect shielding now, however small it is. But I doubt tapping and releasing would be practical at all considering the animation for getting out of shield is much longer now, so if you miss that perfect shield moment, you will be a sitting duck for longer.
 

Quillion

Smash Champion
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
2,225
#40
Yes, you need your shield to be up to perfect shield now. It's not like powershielding where you simply hit the shield button at the moment of impact, so there is a commitment to perfect shielding now, however small it is. But I doubt tapping and releasing would be practical at all considering the animation for getting out of shield is much longer now, so if you miss that perfect shield moment, you will be a sitting duck for longer.
But it seems that's compensated be the shield startlag being next-to-nothing. You can absolutely tap the shield to attempt a parry (yes, I'm calling it the parry from this point forward), though as you said, the shield endlag is increased, demanding that you need to time the shield drop exactly.

Still, given how effective SF3 parrying is against projectiles from what I've seen, the new parry mechanic seems like a good way of introducing risk-reward with shielding. I do love my parry mechanics.
 
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