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

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Uair having more hitstun, besides not really being possible given the current game engine, is entirely incongruous with the one niche it has over Nair: its use as a sharking tool. You can't set up tech chases with a move that doesn't spike when you're hitting your opponent out of the air.

I suggested Uair have a more vertical launch angle for the same reason. Uair has a bunch contradictory traits that don't belong on the same move. If it's supposed to be a sharking/juggling tool, why does it launch foes away from Ganon, instead of upwards which would allow for continued juggling/sharking? If it's an edgeguarding tool, why is so much of its hitbox above Ganon, where it's least useful? It would be far better to just make Uair either a juggling tool or a neutral/edgeguarding tool, rather than both, and because Nair has the latter covered, the former makes more sense. Ganon doesn't have enough space in his moveset to to afford two slots being taken up by moves as similar as these.
I guess that's fair enough. Didn't realize Ganon has no sharking tool. Probably shoulda figured.

Here's the thing: Usmash does the same damage and covers most of the same space that Fsmash does, while being significantly faster. It has less range, but it's still massive to the point where that barely matters.
Also fair enough. How would you change FSmash then? I personally have an idea, but it's VERY out there.

Giving Ganon more options outside of close quarters also means you don't have to make him overwhelmingly strong in close quarters, which is more likely to result in a character who is less polarizing and thus more fun to play with.
While true, do you mean "outside close quarters" as simply disjoints, because I don't know if you could even call it that. It would still be a close range move. And him being strong in close quarters doesn't mean he's uncounterable. I said he had to be the best CQC combatant to work with his mobility weakness, not he needed to be unbeatable at close quarters. You can give him extra quirks outside his CQC to work with certain situations, as long as they aren't projectiles or are super long range disjoints like the Belmonts.
 

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Another question: are heavies really generally bad characters?

According to pros, "Good characters generally need a combination of good frame data, movement speed, range, power, combos, recovery tools, edge guard tools, projectiles, and versatile kits."

We've already discussed Incineroar's abysmal movement speed and Ganondorf's lack of speed and a projectile, and both have bad recoveries. None of the superheavies have good frame data, as talked about.

How good they perform in these categories seems to vary among the heavies, and Donkey Kong is said to be among the better heavies despite his lack of a projectile, due to his decent movement speed, power, and range. King K. Rool, being the gimmick that he is, might be up there too for having power and a good recovery, the latter being rare among heavies.

I would go on to continue explaining how they are far from being like Inkling, but the difference between good and not good is there.
 
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Quillion

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Has there ever been a good character in a fighting game that doesn't have good frame data? The heavies in Smash are definitely limited by their frame data, and that does hurt them in advantage, neutral, and disadvantage alike.

Gimmicks like loads of Super Armor just makes them hard to balance since they're essentially balancing something completely different from skillful combos.
 

Luigifan18

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Has there ever been a good character in a fighting game that doesn't have good frame data? The heavies in Smash are definitely limited by their frame data, and that does hurt them in advantage, neutral, and disadvantage alike.

Gimmicks like loads of Super Armor just makes them hard to balance since they're essentially balancing something completely different from skillful combos.
Keyword there is "Skillful". Smash is also a party game, so it has to be balanced for players who couldn't combo if their lives depended on it.
 
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Has there ever been a good character in a fighting game that doesn't have good frame data? The heavies in Smash are definitely limited by their frame data, and that does hurt them in advantage, neutral, and disadvantage alike.

Gimmicks like loads of Super Armor just makes them hard to balance since they're essentially balancing something completely different from skillful combos.
In terms of "good frame data" vs "bad frame data" it is all relative, and it doesn't have to follow that trend for every move they have. Like I keep saying, if heavy characters had a couple of moves that were just fast moves they can use in neutral well, they can get away with having a worse frame data on average because they at least have some fast moves to fall back on.

I'm sure there is at least one fighter who is good with poor average frame data. I know Suicune in Pokken Tournament is known for having shoddy frame data compared to the rest of the cast but also has a lot of success when used well enough because of its super high damage combos and good trapping/reading/oki ability. Darkrai is another one, and Chandelure is a third, though Chandy and Darkrai are zoners, with Darkrai being a close range brawler on the side only if he has Bad Dreams Rising. Smash Bros has to deal with more angles of attack and thus more potential openings for bad frame data to be punished.
 

Quillion

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In terms of "good frame data" vs "bad frame data" it is all relative, and it doesn't have to follow that trend for every move they have. Like I keep saying, if heavy characters had a couple of moves that were just fast moves they can use in neutral well, they can get away with having a worse frame data on average because they at least have some fast moves to fall back on.
How much would "enough" be? Ganon has a decent Jab, Nair and Uair but those aren't considered to save his design.

[/quote]I'm sure there is at least one fighter who is good with poor average frame data. I know Suicune in Pokken Tournament is known for having shoddy frame data compared to the rest of the cast but also has a lot of success when used well enough because of its super high damage combos and good trapping/reading/oki ability. Darkrai is another one, and Chandelure is a third, though Chandy and Darkrai are zoners, with Darkrai being a close range brawler on the side only if he has Bad Dreams Rising. Smash Bros has to deal with more angles of attack and thus more potential openings for bad frame data to be punished.[/QUOTE]

I assume that the Pokken characters at least have hitstun values that support their low frame data, correct? I'm still hoping they'll introduce hitstun knockback separation to Smash one day. Heavies tend to be really good at punishing in Smash, but not so good with following up. And before J0eyboi brings it up, I don't want Smash 4's incredibly linear and repetitive playstyles for heavies either.
 
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How much would "enough" be? Ganon has a decent Jab, Nair and Uair but those aren't considered to save his design.
Having a few moves be fast isn't enough by itself. It also depends on how well those moves gel with the character in general and how their moveset works too. Remember, having poor frame data means you must be MUCH stronger in something else, and while those three moves are pretty standard, Ganon's other moves are most certainly not. On top of that, there is a LOT more to a move than just damage, power, and speed. There's range, shield pressure, shield damage, hitstun, and general combo ability too. Every character needs a healthy minimum of all of these, and I would say Ganondorf, despite his few fast moves, is still lacking in some general areas, as J0eyboi J0eyboi established.

I assume that the Pokken characters at least have hitstun values that support their low frame data, correct? I'm still hoping they'll introduce hitstun knockback separation to Smash one day. Heavies tend to be really good at punishing in Smash, but not so good with following up.
They do in fact. And I definitely want hitstun to be separated, that way my Kirby example from earlier in the thread can work out. Plus, I just made a Mii Brawler rebalance thread where Burning Dropkick has an immense amount of hitstun in order to allow for Brawler to followup even though he gets pushed back, as well as create a much higher window for a tech situation to occur at lower percents. Hitstun manipulation would solve so much in terms of low variety between moves.
 

Master Knight DH

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J0eyboi J0eyboi brought up that with heavies doing as much damage and killing as early as they do, they really don't need to stay in advantage for long to get a kill. I disagreed with him at first, but I do see his point now.

Heavies could certainly get more reversal and get-off-me options, but I don't think a whole bunch of invincibility frames is the way to do it.
Again, it's not the invincibility frames that makes the KIU get-ups good. It's the burst of travel distance for the rolling as well as the actual usefulness of the get-up attack that do that.

What Mighty Glaciers really need is their momentum to be able to hold out and shrug off attacks that don't hit too hard in the first place. They already have to make up for bad mobility with a stronger sense of positioning that accounts for commitment. Making them arbitrarily easy to push around to the point where they become susceptible to sickeningly easy stalling, is going to leave them helpless. There's a reason KIU has Skyscraper Club do well enough by contrast despite its abysmal mobility: it actually gets tools to use for a consistent offense.

I know nothing about KIU, but I have to ask: How are you punishing an option with 40 frames carryover invuln? I get that KIU is probably slower than Smash, but ledgedashing in Melee, an option that gets less than half that surplus, is centralizing to the point of making stalling on the ledge a viable strategy for timing out respawn invuln. In this game, I can make it 3/4s of the way across Smashville in that time as Greninja, who's not even the fastest character in the game. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I don't get it at all.
Since you're no doubt especially referring to the Ukemi, just read the followup. The defender can't even use get-up options consecutively at all and the only way to force the fallen state instead of getting hit is by using a Power called Angelic Missile, the method of which prevents doing Ukemi to begin with. Regular dodge moves will just minimize the intangibility amount too and they have 22 intangibility frames with IASA 30, so those aren't going stop a successful followup read. Though I will admit that standard club shots do linger from taking their time to reach the end of their ranges, so that is able to provide consistent pressure against just escaping from the inevitable close range monster.

I should also mention that Powers with a casting animation have 24 carry-over intangibility frames on standard (IASA is usually 56 and intangibility lasts 80 frames), yet that doesn't instantly make them broken. If you don't believe me, Reflect Barrier is one of those Powers, and, well, Skyscraper Club has answers against that. Granted, to be sure, it does help when recasting the given Power requires the Power's duration to end, but then again, if you're not using a lot of offensive Powers, especially Energy Charge which when active is ALWAYS the shown buff Power on the bottom screen regardless of any others, the opponent can suspect you're working with defensive ones hoping to catch them overextending, and start sieging away.

Though I will agree that intangibility frame counts should be watched carefully. Evasion+ is the most broken weapon modifier in KIU for a reason, since it has regular dodge moves' intangibility last past the IASA frame, which even with KIU's restrictions on them breaks a lot of things, believe me. And yes, I've actually punished Bumblebee, even through Evasion+, so I definitely know THAT isn't the problem.

Of course, whether or not surplus intangibility frames are acceptable, as I pointed out, the reason KIU's get-ups bolster Mighty Glaciers is that they have easier to use strengths at the cost of being more committal to the point of allowing for chasing.
 
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Quillion

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Having a few moves be fast isn't enough by itself. It also depends on how well those moves gel with the character in general and how their moveset works too. Remember, having poor frame data means you must be MUCH stronger in something else, and while those three moves are pretty standard, Ganon's other moves are most certainly not. On top of that, there is a LOT more to a move than just damage, power, and speed. There's range, shield pressure, shield damage, hitstun, and general combo ability too. Every character needs a healthy minimum of all of these, and I would say Ganondorf, despite his few fast moves, is still lacking in some general areas, as J0eyboi J0eyboi established.



They do in fact. And I definitely want hitstun to be separated, that way my Kirby example from earlier in the thread can work out. Plus, I just made a Mii Brawler rebalance thread where Burning Dropkick has an immense amount of hitstun in order to allow for Brawler to followup even though he gets pushed back, as well as create a much higher window for a tech situation to occur at lower percents. Hitstun manipulation would solve so much in terms of low variety between moves.
I see in a previous you also mentioned oki as something that the big bodies have in Pokkén. Would it be a good idea if Smash has a more reliable way of inducing hard knockdowns? Currently, only launches at high percents are untechable, but maybe it would be a good idea if they introduced a guaranteed, reliable way to force a wakeup game from knockdown. Perhaps they can take the route that most fighters have and make throws the primary method of HKD.

Hell, maybe with HKD, that would lead to improvements with the wakeup game that Master Knight DH Master Knight DH seems to want.
 

Luigifan18

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I see in a previous you also mentioned oki as something that the big bodies have in Pokkén. Would it be a good idea if Smash has a more reliable way of inducing hard knockdowns? Currently, only launches at high percents are untechable, but maybe it would be a good idea if they introduced a guaranteed, reliable way to force a wakeup game from knockdown. Perhaps they can take the route that most fighters have and make throws the primary method of HKD.

Hell, maybe with HKD, that would lead to improvements with the wakeup game that Master Knight DH Master Knight DH seems to want.
It feels logical that meteor smashes on the stage (as in, meteor smashing an opponent on the ground) would also induce a hard knockdown. Actually, that seems like a more elegant solution than having everybody steal Snake's down throw.
 

J0eyboi

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Has there ever been a good character in a fighting game that doesn't have good frame data?
Sort of?

Like it's really hard to say because "poor" frame data is so subjective and changes so drastically between games. Johnny, the current best character in Guilty Gear Xrd, has pretty mediocre frame data, but he also has Mist Stance, which can be cancelled into and then immediately out of to make all of his normals unreasonably + on block. He ends up having pokes with really good range and decent startup that are incredibly safe on block, but highly unsafe on whiff. So his frame data's like half good, half bad.

Waldstein, a character in UNIST, has pretty bad frame data and the unambiguous worst mobility in the game, but he's still pretty good thanks to having massive hitboxes with projectile-destroying properties. He's also probably the character who benefits most from UNIST's Assault mechanic, which makes his mobility a lot better than it otherwise would be.

I see in a previous you also mentioned oki as something that the big bodies have in Pokkén. Would it be a good idea if Smash has a more reliable way of inducing hard knockdowns?
The problem with this is that knockdowns in Smash don't work the same way as in other games. There's no OTG scaling or knockdown invuln, and jablocking exists, so attacks that force hard knockdowns almost invariably end up as combo tools rather than oki tools (see: Banana). The only way to prevent this while keeping the move useful is to do things like Snake's dthrow, where you don't get enough time to combo off it until high %s, but trying to code a non-throw move this way would end up really weird.

You also don't need to force hard knockdowns to create oki. Just having better ways to force techs would be fine. Even then, though, it's very unlikely that heavies will be anywhere near as good at techchasing as someone like Greninja, who can drag you down into a forced tech situation with Uair, jab to cover missed tech, and then cover every other option on reaction, creating inescapable traps if executed properly. If you really want to give heavies good oki, look towards improving their ledgetrapping, because that's much more analogous to oki in other games than techchasing is.

It feels logical that meteor smashes on the stage (as in, meteor smashing an opponent on the ground) would also induce a hard knockdown. Actually, that seems like a more elegant solution than having everybody steal Snake's down throw.
Having aerials that force hard knockdowns would just give free combos, not real oki.
 
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Quillion

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The problem with this is that knockdowns in Smash don't work the same way as in other games. There's no OTG scaling or knockdown invuln, and jablocking exists, so attacks that force hard knockdowns almost invariably end up as combo tools rather than oki tools (see: Banana). The only way to prevent this while keeping the move useful is to do things like Snake's dthrow, where you don't get enough time to combo off it until high %s, but trying to code a non-throw move this way would end up really weird.

You also don't need to force hard knockdowns to create oki. Just having better ways to force techs would be fine. Even then, though, it's very unlikely that heavies will be anywhere near as good at techchasing as someone like Greninja, who can drag you down into a forced tech situation with Uair, jab to cover missed tech, and then cover every other option on reaction, creating inescapable traps if executed properly. If you really want to give heavies good oki, look towards improving their ledgetrapping, because that's much more analogous to oki in other games than techchasing is.
I'm not suggesting that they just allow hard knockdowns and keep everything else the same. I'm starting to think if they rework some things about getup perhaps like Master Knight DH Master Knight DH was suggesting: a bit more invulnerability as well as some mixup options, I think hard knockdowns could be a reliable yet balanced way of setting things up for heavies.

Even then, I think hard knockdowns+improved getup and forced tech can coexist. Making intentional normal knockdown less situational could make the ground game more cerebral yet fair. They can also rework tumble so that it's not entirely knockback-dependent and certain attacks can't cause tumble.
 

MG_3989

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I think heavies should stay how they are now, viable as pocket and match up options. As soon as you start buffing heavies, giving them faster frame data, counters, etc... they can turn into unbreakable walls, take advantage easily, and can dispatch you in 3 or 4 hits (which most heavies in the game can already do). That said I don’t play heavies and I don’t mind playing against heavies but I think they could easily become over centralized and that wouldn’t be a fun game
 

Quillion

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I think heavies should stay how they are now, viable as pocket and match up options. As soon as you start buffing heavies, giving them faster frame data, counters, etc... they can turn into unbreakable walls, take advantage easily, and can dispatch you in 3 or 4 hits (which most heavies in the game can already do). That said I don’t play heavies and I don’t mind playing against heavies but I think they could easily become over centralized and that wouldn’t be a fun game
As Necro'lic Necro'lic has been saying, just giving them a basic set of usable tools will be enough to make them viable yet fair. They key is to design every character "defensively": to universally give characters certain options for certain situations.
 

MG_3989

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As Necro'lic Necro'lic has been saying, just giving them a basic set of usable tools will be enough to make them viable yet fair. They key is to design every character "defensively": to universally give characters certain options for certain situations.
I mean I agree with that but I think it’s a very fine line with heavies. I don’t think they’re bad at all now, yeah some of them can use a couple more options but there are plenty of viable heavies and pros regularly use them in tournament. They’re just not too or high tier (except DK is arguably high tier)
 
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GamerZard

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I think heavies should stay how they are now, viable as pocket and match up options. As soon as you start buffing heavies, giving them faster frame data, counters, etc... they can turn into unbreakable walls, take advantage easily, and can dispatch you in 3 or 4 hits (which most heavies in the game can already do). That said I don’t play heavies and I don’t mind playing against heavies but I think they could easily become over centralized and that wouldn’t be a fun game
I don't know if I agree. Most of the heavies are already pretty good, but some could use some fixing. This thread is about how they could be viable characters as a few of them (e.g. Incineroar) suffer greatly from the standard heavyweight stereotypes.
 

MG_3989

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I don't know if I agree. Most of the heavies are already pretty good, but some could use some fixing. This thread is about how they could be viable characters as a few of them (e.g. Incineroar) suffer greatly from the standard heavyweight stereotypes.
I definitely agree with that, Incineroar can use some work but he’s really close to being viable if not really good. He lacks a lot of options for certain situations though and he can use a useful special or two to get him out of trouble. I also wouldn’t be opposed to giving him a minor ground and air speed buff because it’s ridiculous how slow he is. But tune him too much and you have an overcentralizing character on your hand
 
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I definitely agree with that, Incineroar can use some work but he’s really close to being viable if not really good. He lacks a lot of options for certain situations though and he can use a useful special or two to get him out of trouble. I also wouldn’t be opposed to giving him a minor ground and air speed buff because it’s ridiculous how slow he is. But tune him too much and you have an overcentralizing character on your hand
The threat of an overcentralizing character is a problem with not just overtuning heavies, but any archetype. What makes heavies different? And why shouldn't heavies be viable in a general sense instead of relegated to only pocket characters?
 
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MG_3989

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The threat of an overcentralizing character is a problem with not just overtuning heavies, but any archetype. What makes heavies different? And why shouldn't heavies be viable in a general sense instead of relegated to only pocket characters?
You are right on that and I guess I personally just don’t like heavies that much. Not that they’re hard to deal with but the fact that they take stocks so quickly and live forever isn’t my favorite matchup to play against. I’ll admit there’s personal bias here. Looking at it objectively heavies should be viable and not just as pocket characters
 

J0eyboi

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I'm not suggesting that they just allow hard knockdowns and keep everything else the same. I'm starting to think if they rework some things about getup perhaps like Master Knight DH Master Knight DH was suggesting: a bit more invulnerability as well as some mixup options, I think hard knockdowns could be a reliable yet balanced way of setting things up for heavies.
First of all, that's really not necessary; ledgetrapping is more oki than techchasing, so instead of making techchasing more like oki, just give heavies better ledgetrapping. No reason to mess with some of the game's fundamental mechanics to turn it into something it's not.

Second of all, giving getup options more invuln wouldn't be beneficial to heavies over other characters; the opposite is more likely. There are 3 options: getup invuln runs out before the FAF, getup invuln runs out on the FAF, and getup invuln runs out after the FAF. The former is just the same as current tech chasing with a tighter window; all it does is make options more difficult to punish in the least interesting way possible. Having invuln run out on the same frame you're actionable would still leave you vulnerable to grabs, or, if they added proper throw-teching, would favor characters with strong OoS options or frame 1 jabs / frame 1 invulnerable up-Bs. Getup invuln carrying over to after the FAF favors characters with good escape options or fast attacks. You'll notice that those latter two categories generally don't contain heavies.
 
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First of all, that's really not necessary; ledgetrapping is more oki than techchasing, so instead of making techchasing more like oki, just give heavies better ledgetrapping. No reason to mess with some of the game's fundamental mechanics to turn it into something it's not.

Second of all, giving getup options more invuln wouldn't be beneficial to heavies over other characters; the opposite is more likely. There are 3 options: getup invuln runs out before the FAF, getup invuln runs out on the FAF, and getup invuln runs out after the FAF. The former is just the same as current tech chasing with a tighter window; all it does is make options more difficult to punish in the least interesting way possible. Having invuln run out on the same frame you're actionable would still leave you vulnerable to grabs, or, if they added proper throw-teching, would favor characters with strong OoS options or frame 1 jabs / frame 1 invulnerable up-Bs. Getup invuln carrying over to after the FAF favors characters with good escape options or fast attacks. You'll notice that those latter two categories generally don't contain heavies.
This has been an idea of mine for a while, but why not make missed techs before the missed tech getup option is chosen give consistent invuln? At least until a timer forces the character up again. It would definitely make rushdown playstyles a bit more difficult, thus rebalancing a bit towards oki and less on super fast techchasing. You could also maybe give an extra getup option, like getup jump or something to make the oki more dynamic. And of course, you always have the much faster but potentially more readable and limited successful tech options to work with. I feel it could be a best of both worlds.
 

Quillion

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You could also maybe give an extra getup option, like getup jump or something to make the oki more dynamic. And of course, you always have the much faster but potentially more readable and limited successful tech options to work with.
Is this implying getup Up-Smash and Up-Special as well?
 

Luigifan18

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The threat of an overcentralizing character is a problem with not just overtuning heavies, but any archetype. What makes heavies different? And why shouldn't heavies be viable in a general sense instead of relegated to only pocket characters?
The problem people see here is that it's usually the lightweights who are overtuned in Smash (examples: :pikachu64:, :kirby64:, :foxmelee:, :jigglypuffmelee:, :metaknight:, :olimar:, :4diddy:, :4bayonetta:). Plus, the stereotypical lightweight traits include great frame data and great mobility, which are essential for success in competitive Smash. Hence the "heavies are worthless in high-level play" stereotype.
You are right on that and I guess I personally just don’t like heavies that much. Not that they’re hard to deal with but the fact that they take stocks so quickly and live forever isn’t my favorite matchup to play against. I’ll admit there’s personal bias here. Looking at it objectively heavies should be viable and not just as pocket characters
I personally love the longevity of heavies. It's the primary reason why :ultkrool: is my second main after Ness. Sadly, the longevity of heavies is undermined by how easily they get combo'd.
 

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The problem people see here is that it's usually the lightweights who are overtuned in Smash (examples: :pikachu64:, :kirby64:, :foxmelee:, :jigglypuffmelee:, :metaknight:, :olimar:, :4diddy:, :4bayonetta:). Plus, the stereotypical lightweight traits include great frame data and great mobility, which are essential for success in competitive Smash. Hence the "heavies are worthless in high-level play" stereotype.

I personally love the longevity of heavies. It's the primary reason why :ultkrool: is my second main after Ness. Sadly, the longevity of heavies is undermined by how easily they get combo'd.
I think it’s a fair trade off (also as you know Ness lives a lot longer than you’d expect him too with good DI). But yeah I rack up 40-50% a combo on K Rool with Ness and I’ve racked up over 100% without letting him touch the ground in PKT juggles. He’s definitely got some problems with being combo/juggle food. The trade off is he can live to 200% and my Ness can be at 70% and if you get a hard read and a down smash that’s still a dead Ness while you’re hanging out at 200%
 

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The problem people see here is that it's usually the lightweights who are overtuned in Smash (examples: :pikachu64:, :kirby64:, :foxmelee:, :jigglypuffmelee:, :metaknight:, :olimar:, :4diddy:, :4bayonetta:). Plus, the stereotypical lightweight traits include great frame data and great mobility, which are essential for success in competitive Smash. Hence the "heavies are worthless in high-level play" stereotype.

I personally love the longevity of heavies. It's the primary reason why :ultkrool: is my second main after Ness. Sadly, the longevity of heavies is undermined by how easily they get combo'd.
Being combo food alone seems to be why the heavies are unpopular in high-level play. Lighter combo food (characters with a tall frame and/or a fast falling speed) still have good attributes that make them viable.

I think it’s a fair trade off (also as you know Ness lives a lot longer than you’d expect him too with good DI). But yeah I rack up 40-50% a combo on K Rool with Ness and I’ve racked up over 100% without letting him touch the ground in PKT juggles. He’s definitely got some problems with being combo/juggle food. The trade off is he can live to 200% and my Ness can be at 70% and if you get a hard read and a down smash that’s still a dead Ness while you’re hanging out at 200%
Rool's armor can also work against him, as countering with his armored moves too much can result in his death.

Many people have a problem with his armor, but I have a feeling this somewhat exploitable gimmick will put him under some of his fellow heavies in terms of viability.
 
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MG_3989

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Being combo food alone seems to be why the heavies are unpopular in high-level play. Lighter combo food (characters with a tall frame and/or a fast falling speed) still have good attributes that make them viable.


Rool's armor can also work against him, as countering with his armored moves too much can result in his death.

Many people have a problem with his armor, but I have a feeling this somewhat exploitable gimmick will put him under some of his fellow heavies in terms of viability.
Exactly and his counter has a ton of cooldown. Like enough cool down to land a semi charged Smash attack on him. A lot of the time I’ll harass K Rool in the corner and condition him to counter. Then I’ll just run up to him, wait for him to counter, and baseball bat on the cooldown that will most likely kill
 
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Given that Rool can be easily exploited, does that put him on the lower end of the heavy tier, aka, a poorly designed character?
He has enough fast attacks to work I think, and any shortcomings on those fronts are covered by armor. It's too early to tell whether he is truly poorly designed or just underpowered in a general sense. I'm pointing to the latter though.

I apologize for the double post, but this is to respark the conversation.

So I know a trending theme when talking about heavies is that they are too strong at low levels and thus we apparently can't have good heavy characters at high level without low level suffering, and so some people think it would actually be best if heavies weren't good at high level play at all.

Do we still think that idea holds water after seeing heavies in Ultimate, as well as the recent patch changes?
 

Quillion

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I apologize for the double post, but this is to respark the conversation.

So I know a trending theme when talking about heavies is that they are too strong at low levels and thus we apparently can't have good heavy characters at high level without low level suffering, and so some people think it would actually be best if heavies weren't good at high level play at all.

Do we still think that idea holds water after seeing heavies in Ultimate, as well as the recent patch changes?
Part of the imbalance definitely lies with how heavies have a low skill floor and ceiling, and speedsters have a high skill floor and ceiling. Low-skill players tend to not be able to combo worth a damn (trust me, I'm currently one of them), but while speedsters have the low knockback and good frame data to allow for developmental potential, heavies don't. Yes, heavies are supposed to rely more on smart reads and punishes, but speedsters can do that too and exercise better technicality off of those punishes.

And that's why I think we both agree that the addition hitstun-knockback separation is very important for the future. If hitstun was modified so that it could be tailored to support an individual characters' frame data and knockback, it would do wonders for evening out the skill/reward imbalance that separate heavies from speedsters.
 

Master Knight DH

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Going to cite Kid Icarus Uprising again for this.

I think heavies should stay how they are now, viable as pocket and match up options. As soon as you start buffing heavies, giving them faster frame data, counters, etc... they can turn into unbreakable walls, take advantage easily, and can dispatch you in 3 or 4 hits (which most heavies in the game can already do). That said I don’t play heavies and I don’t mind playing against heavies but I think they could easily become over centralized and that wouldn’t be a fun game
Mighty Glaciers don't even need faster frame data if the game's mechanics aren't cruel to them. Also, buffing them isn't innately bad if it doesn't break character, and in fact, buffing them in CREATIVE ways would simply make things more interesting.

Just look at the concept of Grid Reading in KIU. The standard Club wants to do it to get as far as using Black Hole without watching it get gimped by some countering Power like Super Armor (vacuum immunity) or Reflect Barrier (reflects the followup Forward Shot), but even getting it together is its own story. You'd have to commit some attention to the bottom screen to see the opponent's used Powers, which means giving up performance against the inevitable shower of shots; you'd then have to commit some brain power to figuring out how those used Powers would fit on the opponent's grid, a notion that can ruin your tactics; and finally, you'd have to figure out the appropriate countermeasures, which means needing to shake off the shower of shots anyway. It gets to the point where I would sometimes deem Energy Charge involvement on its own worth burning a Black Hole charge so soon anyway, just to poke off the EC, because even if there's reaction-based protection, doing this means that either A) the opponent loses their indefinite +80% attack boost; or B) the opponent has EC leveled when each Level of EC suffocates 1 of the 4 center spaces on the Power Grid. Sometimes, I'd just rather find out which sooner than later, and besides which, if the opponent's Power Grid turns out to be too bloated with offensive Power involvement, that's going to be on them not thinking to guard against free Skyscraper Forward Shot hit provisions. Exposing any protection at all also helps when it eats up part of the Power Grid as well.

In case you have doubts I'm talking out my rear about Grid Reading being a thing at all, I'll link to a video where I have SOME success with Grid Reading--admittedly, needing 2 full matches to decipher the target player's Power Grid, but then again, he was using Quick Charge L1 and no full line Powers, which does help my case with deciphering the whole thing at all:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEGo1hIizyY&t=1h5m12s
(Excuse me using the same video as before; it's a different time I'm linking to for convenience.)
The third match (the one on Rail Temple) also provides points I'm making about Grid Reading: I deliberately don't use Black Hole right after the 2 Reflect Barrier charges even though it was likely he didn't change Powers at all and thus had nothing else to shake BH off, as my interest was making a point about Grid Reading to Kevas-Z, that BH is fair and incomplete information certainly makes sure that I would not want to spam it at the start of the match. It was after I paid for that by being KOed later when I opted to just use BH because I would still clearly call out his limited and now overextended protection against it. Basically, the sense of intelligence required for efficient Grid Reading to effectiveness has to be stable.

It's not like mastery at Grid Reading would make the standard Club invincible anyway, and while playing possum with the Powers can still be really called out with sound lower-key Power usage in case you'd think it'd be that simple to stop it, some Powers can be put to creative use to throw off Grid Reading. Take Playing Dead; its duration when standing still is 7+3L seconds, during which the user is completely intangible--note that if you move with the control stick, Playing Dead's effect is removed almost immediately. How can Playing Dead be used against Grid Reading?

Have Playing Dead at ANY Level of choice, including the maximum of 3, and then move 6~8 seconds into the duration. Playing Dead's only benefit for being higher Level is the added duration that's being forfeited, but this hurts the Grid Reading effort too, because the Grid Reading player isn't going to know for certain that PD is at L1 and those 2 extra spaces that would be saved at L1 could be going to anything else critical.

Just be mindful of the rest of your Power Grid or setup in general if you're having to account for Grid Reading; Playing Dead is already a minimum of 10 spaces, and the L2 shape can be cumbersome enough, contradicting by shapes the combination of Homing Boost and Slip Shot altogether for one, so there are inevitable countermeasures.

There's probably more examples that never came out of the woodwork because clean metagame development wasn't happening with too many people wanting weapon modifiers around to determine skill despite their clear brokenness, making it harder to smoke out the more genuinely heinous Powers, but you can see how gameplay provided by sound balancing of the Mighty Glaciers isn't bad at all.

I'll again point out that what I would want with the footing recovery options is distinctly useful with the defenses, yet committal enough for potential chase. The LATTER would also still damage the Mighty Glaciers, but in a healthier way for gameplay, because more committal recovery means more opportunity to handle setup, more ways to be devastating with reads, more safety from attacks other than the get-up attack whenever doing whatever you want to do--basically methods that bolster anti-armor stuff. I'm for the Mighty Glacier getting killed because their defenses faltered enough to have their attention crumble to dust, instead of because they ate some easybake KO literally in the middle of a Ukemi.


I may as well leave these further 2 videos of mine because they help punctuate some of my points with KIU's balance efforts with the Mighty Glacier that don't resort to involving something as mechanical as Grid Reading:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPAfXNDmR2E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOjjuxmbU_Q

Oh, and just to prove that frame data on its own isn't a be-all end-all in KIU, if it was, Clubs would be dead last in usability:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1uYWmm1-5bHYectmsSn7AMWE03iZgNtMC873uN61eh9c/edit?usp=sharing (note that this is STILL a WIP)
Go to the tab "Shot IASA" and you'll see that Clubs have the worst frame data of all 9 weapon families. Funny how there's horror stories of the Atlas, Capricorn, and Magnus Clubs (admittedly, Magnus Club has the fastest chargeup in the game and it's more mobile than the First Blade, but it's locked to close range) and I'm able to get Skyscraper Club going as well, despite its laughable shot velocity and God awful mobility without much beyond its incredible singleton hit power to justify as much.

Kid Icarus Uprising is clearly doing quite a few things, if not everything, right. Smash Bros., take notes.

-

Oh, and by the way, if I had to do one VERY SINGLE rebalance to a singular heavy in Smash Bros. (naturally ignoring a long list), it would be to change Ganondorf's Neutral B to let him charge up one of his energy balls from Ocarina of Time, by immediately pressing Up or Down on the control stick (similar to pressing the reverse direction changing the Warlock Punch's direction), with the energy ball usage NOT providing superarmor, and the energy ball being possible to reflect by attacking it and lacking good initial velocity (a reflecting attack's power would significantly determine reflection velocity), but reflectors and absorbs wouldn't work on it (justification being brutal dark magic), the energy ball would have high damage and stun, and the tell for it over the Warlock Punch would be subtle. Ganondorf would STILL want to get close for his effectiveness, so he wouldn't break his Mighty Glacier/Melee Tornado standing when Skyscraper Club didn't, but now he could send something in the direction of those pesky flies bent on cheesing him from a safe distance, and the Warlock Punch itself would become an actual mixup because of the subtle tell in tandem with removed consistency with superarmor provision.
 
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If you want to take a look at the "optimal heavy", I would look at Etalus from Rivals of Aether. He can still gain stage control easily with his specials, and yet isn't very campy. Many times I think that heavies are stuck in the corner with no options to combat against top level neutral play with characters like Joker or Lucina.
 

Wigglerman

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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.
Earthquake is an interesting case in the recent Samurai Shodown. He's a heavy that plays almost like Dhalsim (His kusarigama has insane reach and he can keep opponents out) yet at the same time he has a move almost like Yoga Flame, can wall jump, has a command drop attack from the apex of his jump AND he also has a teleport AND a command grab. It's kinda nuts he has a lot of tools and makes him a top contender in the current version of the game but he is by no means broken or unbeatable. So it's odd other games haven't opted to experiment with what a heavy character can and can't have.
 
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There is no heavy I can imagine being higher than a mid tier in today's meta. They can make heavies more viable by:
  1. Making them faster and giving them more reliable recoveries.. They can be heavy but they don't have to be ridiculously slow.
  2. Move away from stage control based movesets and give heavies more versatile options.
  3. Make their movesets less risk-reward based and give them reliable punish options.
Heavies don't have to be super combo oriented or be able to recover from the pits of Hell, but the current design of heavies focusing on slow options and stage control means they suffer greatly to any fighter with faster moves or a better recovery.
 
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