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

Necro'lic

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#41
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.
Yes, you can attempt the parry, but it involves prediction, because the moment the shield button is pressed, there is a 100% commitment, regardless of if the perfect shield is actually done. This is probably best imagined from this rhetorical: what if you shield... and the enemy doesn't immediately attack you? You then have to deal with the much worse shielddrop endlag. This is why attempting to parry involves much more prediction, and thus risk, than powershielding. Now granted, I can see how this means little towards projectile countering considering you can easily see when it happens to hit you, but at close range, it will definitely be worse.
 

Quillion

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#42
Yes, you can attempt the parry, but it involves prediction, because the moment the shield button is pressed, there is a 100% commitment, regardless of if the perfect shield is actually done. This is probably best imagined from this rhetorical: what if you shield... and the enemy doesn't immediately attack you? You then have to deal with the much worse shielddrop endlag. This is why attempting to parry involves much more prediction, and thus risk, than powershielding. Now granted, I can see how this means little towards projectile countering considering you can easily see when it happens to hit you, but at close range, it will definitely be worse.
Yep, that's exactly how it goes for parrying in SF3 as well.

I just think that heavies won't be rendered useless by projectiles this time around thanks to parrying being much better than powershielding this time. But close-range speedsters will still be a problem if it isn't addressed.

On that front, what you said about giving heavies much better frame data and/or different mobility options will be needed to address that.
 

Quillion

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#44
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqQogNUVYLA
Good on mew2king for taking full advantage of the low endlag on aerials (something a lot of people haven't done yet). You can see how this can really help the heavies in this game with keeping their offense safe.
Again, that's still not going to be much if the heavies' DPS is still as far below the speedsters as they always have been.
 
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#46
I think nintendo needs to realize that in this game being heavy isn't enough of an advantage to warrant bad frame data, bad mobility, bad landing options, and whatever else is ruining them, especially when the main advantage, not getting launched as far, often is counterproductive due to it being easier to rack up damage on the character.

Sm4sh dk is a step in the right direction but they could've done better without making him so polarizing like now.
 

Quillion

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#47
Something I've also noticed is that the heavies all feel incredibly homogenous.

Just like what P PURGE THEM LIKE THE said about heavies, they tend to have bad frame data, bad mobility, and bad landing options.

Why can't we have a heavy with good frame data? Why can't we have a heavy with good range? (Snake doesn't count) To be fair, we do have a few heavies with some mobility advantage, but that's always undermined by something else, often another kind of mobility disadvantage.

Light characters are hit-and-run fighters, combo monsters, and zoners alike. Why aren't heavies as varied?
 

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#48
I guess one of the most notable issues that heavyweight fighters tend to suffer from is the amount of start-up lag that their attacks have. The first hit of Bowser's neutral attack hits on frame 7, but there are a good portion of fighters who can grab as early as frame 6.

Another issue can also be limited KO move options, which is something that King Dedede suffers from. And even for his strongest attacks, he doesn't receive any armor to compensate for how laggy their start-up period is.

Being big targets is inevitable for the top three heaviest fighters, so there's no way around that, outside of implementing knockback-based heavy armor.
 

OhMyBanana54

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#49
Here are (in my opinion) the five essential pillars of good smash characters:

1. Good frame data
2. Good range
3. Good movement speed
4. Good recovery
5. Multiple guaranteed combos

Every top/high tier in every smash game without exception has these attributes in common. Now let’s look at the heavyweights in smash 4 that possess all 5:

:4rob:

... oh that’s it. You could argue :4wario2: does too but I’d say he falters when it comes to range. :4bowser::4bowserjr::4charizard::4dk::4dedede::4ganondorf::4myfriends: and :4samus: all don’t fit the criteria. :4rob: Barely even meets my criteria. Clearly the Smash 4 heavies had issues and frankly, the only top tier heavy I can see this game assuming there’s nothing broken with any of the above characters is :ultsnake:. Now if :ultganondorf:/:ultike:had a better recovery, :ultwario: had more disjoint, or :ultbowser:/ :ultdk: /:ultrob: had faster aerials, they could have ended up high tier in this build, but I haven’t seen that happen yet.:ultyounglink:
 

Necro'lic

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#50
Here are (in my opinion) the five essential pillars of good smash characters:

1. Good frame data
2. Good range
3. Good movement speed
4. Good recovery
5. Multiple guaranteed combos

Every top/high tier in every smash game without exception has these attributes in common. Now let’s look at the heavyweights in smash 4 that possess all 5:

:4rob:

... oh that’s it. You could argue :4wario2: does too but I’d say he falters when it comes to range. :4bowser::4bowserjr::4charizard::4dk::4dedede::4ganondorf::4myfriends: and :4samus: all don’t fit the criteria. :4rob: Barely even meets my criteria. Clearly the Smash 4 heavies had issues and frankly, the only top tier heavy I can see this game assuming there’s nothing broken with any of the above characters is :ultsnake:. Now if :ultganondorf:/:ultike:had a better recovery, :ultwario: had more disjoint, or :ultbowser:/ :ultdk: /:ultrob: had faster aerials, they could have ended up high tier in this build, but I haven’t seen that happen yet.:ultyounglink:
I think overall, you're right, but not every character has to have all five of those to be a good character. Some can be bad in one department, but absolutely monstrous in another. I think R.O.B fits all these criteria because his moveset is sorta meant to be a balanced assortment of things.

Now I will admit having bad frame data hurts the most out of all of these, but there are ways to work around these problems, they just need to be done creatively. Smash heavyweights don't do this really.
 

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#51
Normalizing jumpsquats and disproportionately lowering landing lag is the biggest pro-heavy change.

The anything-out-of-dash change will vary a lot by character and has a lot of pros and cons for heavies, but is proooobably a plus overall. It benefits characters with good dashes/runs and good tilts. Heavies tend to, on average, have mediocre dashes and great tilts. However, because of their poor mobility options in general, often they are forced to rely on their mediocre dashes in more situations.

The shield parry is probably bad for them, since heavies have more singular strong hits in their moveset, which is what parry is ideal against. That said, heavies often LOVE grabs, which ignores all of this. Also, shield breaks should be easier without old powershields, and heavies both shield break more often than most characters and get the largest reward for doing so.

I am not super worried about heavies in Smash 4. Insofar as I'm worried about any one group of characters from what little we've seen, it's actually lighter characters with slow move startup.
 
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#52
Normalizing jumpsquats and disproportionately lowering landing lag is the biggest pro-heavy change.

The anything-out-of-dash change will vary a lot by character and has a lot of pros and cons for heavies, but is proooobably a plus overall. It benefits characters with good dashes/runs and good tilts. Heavies tend to, on average, have mediocre dashes and great tilts. However, because of their poor mobility options in general, often they are forced to rely on their mediocre dashes in more situations.

The shield parry is probably bad for them, since heavies have more singular strong hits in their moveset, which is what parry is ideal against. That said, heavies often LOVE grabs, which ignores all of this. Also, shield breaks should be easier without old powershields, and heavies both shield break more often than most characters and get the largest reward for doing so.

I am not super worried about heavies in Smash 4. Insofar as I'm worried about any one group of characters from what little we've seen, it's actually lighter characters with slow move startup.
I think I am worried about characters that lack range like :ultkirby::ultwario: more so than heavies (:ultbowser::ultdk::ultridley::ultkingdedede::ultganondorf::ultpokemontrainer:) actually that suffer from being out-ranged by disjoints are going to suffer more so in comparison than Smash 4 thanks:ultike::ultmarth: and other swordies presumably having their lag massively reduced along with Ike having a frame 3 jump-squat. Heavies probably not going to suffer from there increased mobility and speed thanks them also having their jumpsquats reduced to 3 along with typically having range as well. (Didn't Donkey Kong break even with Marth in Brawl?)
 
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Quillion

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#53
Here are (in my opinion) the five essential pillars of good smash characters:

1. Good frame data
2. Good range
3. Good movement speed
4. Good recovery
5. Multiple guaranteed combos

]Every top/high tier in every smash game without exception has these attributes in common. Now let’s look at the heavyweights in smash 4 that possess all 5:

:4rob:

... oh that’s it. You could argue :4wario2: does too but I’d say he falters when it comes to range. :4bowser::4bowserjr::4charizard::4dk::4dedede::4ganondorf::4myfriends: and :4samus: all don’t fit the criteria. :4rob: Barely even meets my criteria. Clearly the Smash 4 heavies had issues and frankly, the only top tier heavy I can see this game assuming there’s nothing broken with any of the above characters is :ultsnake:. Now if :ultganondorf:/:ultike:had a better recovery, :ultwario: had more disjoint, or :ultbowser:/ :ultdk: /:ultrob: had faster aerials, they could have ended up high tier in this build, but I haven’t seen that happen yet.:ultyounglink:
You forgot: 6. Good finishing options

And that's the very thing that ROB lacks. His finisher options are limited, and the ones he does have are weak, or they're slow or have small hitboxes.

Heavy characters in Smash, IMO, should have the best finisher options, but their finishers have such bad frame data that it completely undermines the advantage. Like I've said before, the fact that characters like Fox and Pikachu have always had the best finishers has always baffled me.

I think overall, you're right, but not every character has to have all five of those to be a good character. Some can be bad in one department, but absolutely monstrous in another. I think R.O.B fits all these criteria because his moveset is sorta meant to be a balanced assortment of things.

Now I will admit having bad frame data hurts the most out of all of these, but there are ways to work around these problems, they just need to be done creatively. Smash heavyweights don't do this really.
Here's something that I've been thinking about for a while but didn't put in the OP:

All characters should have good frame data. Heavies should have the best finishers while speedsters should have the best damage-racking moves.

I've thought about that method of balancing heavies and speedsters for quite a while. Heavies should have the least difficulty finishing the opponent, while speedsters should have the least difficulty racking up damage on the opponent. But because heavies are so slow and a lot of the speedsters have good finishers, heavies have so much difficulty finishing the opponent or making damage while the speedsters have no trouble at either. If heavies had good frame data on their moves while speedsters have less KBG to decrease their finishing potential, things could be more balanced.

The trouble with this is that people might see the heavies as being "broken." Since heavies don't have to work as hard at getting the kill as speedsters, they might be seen as overcentralizing while the speedsters have to rack up damage.

Normalizing jumpsquats and disproportionately lowering landing lag is the biggest pro-heavy change.

The anything-out-of-dash change will vary a lot by character and has a lot of pros and cons for heavies, but is proooobably a plus overall. It benefits characters with good dashes/runs and good tilts. Heavies tend to, on average, have mediocre dashes and great tilts. However, because of their poor mobility options in general, often they are forced to rely on their mediocre dashes in more situations.
Are we sure that "anything out of dash" will be in the final build? I was of the impression that out-of-dash options will be limited to Smashes and the "anything out of dash" thing will just be patched out when the game is released.

The shield parry is probably bad for them, since heavies have more singular strong hits in their moveset, which is what parry is ideal against. That said, heavies often LOVE grabs, which ignores all of this. Also, shield breaks should be easier without old powershields, and heavies both shield break more often than most characters and get the largest reward for doing so.

I am not super worried about heavies in Smash 4. Insofar as I'm worried about any one group of characters from what little we've seen, it's actually lighter characters with slow move startup.
If more heavies have better throw combos (though hopefully Ultimate won't be overly reliant on that like Smash 4), that could help a lot. The parry could definitely shut them down assuming that they retain bad frame data on their moves, but grabs would be a way around that.
 

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#54
You're putting an undue emphasis on both the ability to kill early and good startup frame data.

By this train of thought, Luigi ought to be king. On top of top notch kill options and the lowest-average-startup-frame moveset in the game, he has an approach projectile, great recovery, good weight with a juggle-resistant thin frame, a solid grab game, and high damage output to boot.

But Luigi isn't that amazing. And when Luigi does shine (now and in the past), it is for reasons related to throw confirms and gimps--not directly because of his #1 frame data.

Duck Hunt has the worst ability to kill in the game outside of Mii Gunner, and yet any Duck Hunt player is quick to tell you that the thing holding the character back is recovery.

Sheik is infamously poor at killing, and is infamously great. Same with Brawl Diddy.

If startup frame data was a ceiling, we'd expect Falcon and his very slow moveset to be trash. We'd also expect Marth to be pretty bad, while Pit and Falco and Little Mac run the meta-game.

Smash, like most fighting games, balances individual moves along a n-dimensional space spanning startup speed, recovery speed, movement speed, movement acceleration, range, damage, knockback, and interactions with defensive mechanics. Attempting to flatten this into a simple spectrum results in a simple game.

Ironically, we're seeing a tiny sliver of this in normalizing jumpsquats--a differentiating factor many suspected was problematic and *did* actually correlate decently with tier position across the roster. (At least as good as any one measure can)

But that's a far cry from giving Marth and King DDD the same frame data as Luigi, don't be ridiculous.

Are we sure that "anything out of dash" will be in the final build? I was of the impression that out-of-dash options will be limited to Smashes and the "anything out of dash" thing will just be patched out when the game is released.
Why on earth wouldn't it? You now do standing options out of skid and pivot instead of dash options; it's pretty conceptually straightforward.

"Smash Attack to cancel your dash!" was the right way to mention it in the Direct of course, since Joe Blow E3 viewer has no idea what "standing options out of skid and pivot" mean.
 

Necro'lic

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#55
You're putting an undue emphasis on both the ability to kill early and good startup frame data.

By this train of thought, Luigi ought to be king. On top of top notch kill options and the lowest-average-startup-frame moveset in the game, he has an approach projectile, great recovery, good weight with a juggle-resistant thin frame, a solid grab game, and high damage output to boot.

But Luigi isn't that amazing. And when Luigi does shine (now and in the past), it is for reasons related to throw confirms and gimps--not directly because of his #1 frame data.

Duck Hunt has the worst ability to kill in the game outside of Mii Gunner, and yet any Duck Hunt player is quick to tell you that the thing holding the character back is recovery.

Sheik is infamously poor at killing, and is infamously great. Same with Brawl Diddy.

If startup frame data was a ceiling, we'd expect Falcon and his very slow moveset to be trash. We'd also expect Marth to be pretty bad, while Pit and Falco and Little Mac run the meta-game.

Smash, like most fighting games, balances individual moves along a n-dimensional space spanning startup speed, recovery speed, movement speed, movement acceleration, range, damage, knockback, and interactions with defensive mechanics. Attempting to flatten this into a simple spectrum results in a simple game.

Ironically, we're seeing a tiny sliver of this in normalizing jumpsquats--a differentiating factor many suspected was problematic and *did* actually correlate decently with tier position across the roster. (At least as good as any one measure can)

But that's a far cry from giving Marth and King DDD the same frame data as Luigi, don't be ridiculous.



Why on earth wouldn't it? You now do standing options out of skid and pivot instead of dash options; it's pretty conceptually straightforward.

"Smash Attack to cancel your dash!" was the right way to mention it in the Direct of course, since Joe Blow E3 viewer has no idea what "standing options out of skid and pivot" mean.
I know this wasn't directed at me, but when I say good frame data, I'm not talking about as a whole. What I would say is that certain moves need to have certain frame data so they can do certain things well. This is how it's done in Pokken, and that game is actually fairly well balanced. For example, character grab startup is either 10 frames or 15, but never higher. 10 frames is the norm, and 15 is for a few characters whose grabs are either really good, or whose grabs are really bad, but not the average. They have a low to the ground poke that has little endlag and comes out at either frame 10 or uncommonly, 15. It also is always safe on block. I think the emphasis should be put on endlag more than startup.

And just making all characters have similar frame data for some moves is not going to make a simple game. In fact, making sure all characters have the most basic of tools means you can design them to be even more crazy different from each other without ruining the balance of the game.
 

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#56
Let's all try to remember that if a hitbox is going to be highly damaging, there has to be some sort of catch for using it, whether it's increased start-up lag, or you have to charge the attack to maximum charge for the best results.

Dedede's f-smash deals too much damage and knockback to have its start-up lag reduced, so the only good option for improving it would be to give Dedede armor during the start-up period. But even then, grab moves outrank any kind of armor.

However, Palutena's f-tilt deals too little damage for an attack that hits on frame 17, and its knockback capabilities were also bad. In a case like this, you would want the f-tilt to hit much sooner if you don't want it to be a quick KO maker, but a new problem would rise when you take into account that Palutena's staff is a disjointed hitbox that doesn't cause Palutena to rebound if it clangs.
 

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#57
I think ROB is the other heavy (besides Snake) that warrants keeping an eye on and who could potentially be pretty good this time round. The added utility of his Down Throw (it now buries) potentially improves his combo potential off of a grab as well as possibly giving him a much better kill confirm in D-Throw to U-Smash - bear in mind that U-Smash has two hitboxes, one which launches the opponent into the main one, so the knockback isn't reduced by the buried state. This would be a guaranteed KO off of a grab at remarkably low percents , a huge improvement over the frankly quite unreliable D-Throw -> U-Air.

Oh, and there's glide tossing in the E3 build at least, which is a big buff for ROB as well.

 

OhMyBanana54

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#58
So I think one thing all of us will agree on is that the best heavy in Smash history was :snake:. He had 4 bad match-ups (:metaknight::pikachu2::olimar::dedede:), 7 even match-ups (:popo::marth::falco::zerosuitsamus::wario::pit::ike:), and 25 winning match-ups. His recovery wasn't great but his insane weight (3rd heaviest in the game) made up for that outside of the :metaknight: match-up. His other major downfall was his vulnerability to juggles and infinites causing him to lose to :pikachu2:and :dedede:. Because he was able to safely rack up damage and kills in a game where few characters could :ultsnake: became the second-most successful character in Brawl tournaments after :metaknight:.

So now here we are 10 years later and :ultsnake: is back. Snake has received a slew of buffs and nerfs but he's largely intact. What will it take for :ultsnake: to be top tier again? His 4 toughest match-ups are completely different now with only :ultpikachu: still being a high/top-tier for different reasons, but I'm still hesitant because Smash Ultimate is a more offensive game. With characters like :ultzss::ultbayonetta::ultcloud::ultsheik::ultmario::ultmewtwo::ultryu::ultpikachu::ultdiddy: doing well, :ultsnake: probably will struggle with juggles and recovery again. And with characters like :ultvillager: and :ultrosalina: that out-camp him, he'll need to see a shift in play-style to be viable at a top level.
 

Quillion

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#59
You're putting an undue emphasis on both the ability to kill early and good startup frame data.
I wasn't trying to say that those weren't the only things that mattered, nor were they by far the absolute most important things.

I know that mobility options are important, and so are a good selection of combo moves for dedicated damage racking. However, I'm also worried that giving good mobility options and too many combo moves would ruin the point of playing as a heavy.

That said, what you said about Captain Falcon not being completely held back by his generally slow moves provides a great model of how heavies should be handled. He has good combo options in his up-air and up-tilt, and (like most characters in 4) relies on a throw to start a combo. His mobility is also fantastic as always, but again, I don't think heavies in general should have overly good mobility.

So I think one thing all of us will agree on is that the best heavy in Smash history was :snake:. He had 4 bad match-ups (:metaknight::pikachu2::olimar::dedede:), 7 even match-ups (:popo::marth::falco::zerosuitsamus::wario::pit::ike:), and 25 winning match-ups. His recovery wasn't great but his insane weight (3rd heaviest in the game) made up for that outside of the :metaknight: match-up. His other major downfall was his vulnerability to juggles and infinites causing him to lose to :pikachu2:and :dedede:. Because he was able to safely rack up damage and kills in a game where few characters could :ultsnake: became the second-most successful character in Brawl tournaments after :metaknight:.

So now here we are 10 years later and :ultsnake: is back. Snake has received a slew of buffs and nerfs but he's largely intact. What will it take for :ultsnake: to be top tier again? His 4 toughest match-ups are completely different now with only :ultpikachu: still being a high/top-tier for different reasons, but I'm still hesitant because Smash Ultimate is a more offensive game. With characters like :ultzss::ultbayonetta::ultcloud::ultsheik::ultmario::ultmewtwo::ultryu::ultpikachu::ultdiddy: doing well, :ultsnake: probably will struggle with juggles and recovery again. And with characters like :ultvillager: and :ultrosalina: that out-camp him, he'll need to see a shift in play-style to be viable at a top level.
I stand by my opinion that while Brawl Snake was the highest-tier heavy in the series, he's also one of the worst-designed at that. Ignoring for a moment competitive effectiveness, it always felt that Snake had way more weight than he really needed, and his melee options had more strength than they should have gotten as well. His animations didn't feel like they had the momentum that warranted the strength of his attacks, and he was overly reliant on camping anyway.

Melee Ganon and Smash 4 DK, while not as high-tier, are closer to my ideal of what a heavy character should both play and look like. They had good kill confirms, alright mobility, and usable frame data on select moves without compromising their playstyles as heavies. If they can somehow reconcile having good combos with being heavies, that would be amazing.

I even posted an idea on how they can go about giving heavies better combos, though it would require a major engine change:
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.
 
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#60
So I think one thing all of us will agree on is that the best heavy in Smash history was :snake:. He had 4 bad match-ups (:metaknight::pikachu2::olimar::dedede:), 7 even match-ups (:popo::marth::falco::zerosuitsamus::wario::pit::ike:), and 25 winning match-ups. His recovery wasn't great but his insane weight (3rd heaviest in the game) made up for that outside of the :metaknight: match-up. His other major downfall was his vulnerability to juggles and infinites causing him to lose to :pikachu2:and :dedede:. Because he was able to safely rack up damage and kills in a game where few characters could :ultsnake: became the second-most successful character in Brawl tournaments after :metaknight:.

So now here we are 10 years later and :ultsnake: is back. Snake has received a slew of buffs and nerfs but he's largely intact. What will it take for :ultsnake: to be top tier again? His 4 toughest match-ups are completely different now with only :ultpikachu: still being a high/top-tier for different reasons, but I'm still hesitant because Smash Ultimate is a more offensive game. With characters like :ultzss::ultbayonetta::ultcloud::ultsheik::ultmario::ultmewtwo::ultryu::ultpikachu::ultdiddy: doing well, :ultsnake: probably will struggle with juggles and recovery again. And with characters like :ultvillager: and :ultrosalina: that out-camp him, he'll need to see a shift in play-style to be viable at a top level.
:ultmetaknight: - MK Neutal is now MUCH weaker and bare-bones than his Brawl incarnate. If Smash 5 MK plays the same as Smash 4 MK. The only thing Snake has to worry about is the off-stage game as Grenades are still Frame 1

:ultpikachu:- Snake mainly loss this due to chain-grabs
:ultkingdedede:- Snake ONLY loss this due to chain-grabs. I am pretty sure this Match-Up is going to be incredibly bad for Dedede
:ultolimar:- Snake might lose this; it depends really. Olimar is incredibly nerfed from his Brawl incarnation.

Of course, many new characters has been added along with other characters getting notable changes as well as the engine being radically different from brawl. His bad MU's in brawl I predict are likely to be much better and possibly even winning ( Snake still retains his ridiculous kill power). His C9 is much more powerful though which is a buff and a nerf since he can now easily die from using it off-stage to recover but quickly nets kills from reads or RAW C9s now.

Fun Fact: Brawl Snake Jumpsquat WAS 9 FRAMES. Now it is 3 FRAMES which is probably the biggest buff I've seen. (He jumps THREE Times faster than in Brawl KeK.)
:ultsnake: - SH Dair apparently auto-cancels :O and comes out Frame 3 :O
 
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#61
If you want heavies to be good without homogenizing them... You separate safety on shield from the current formula of damage and endlag. Damage in the formula should be replaced by a totally arbitrary value, separate from everything else.

This way you can have slow moves that don’t hit super hard but can still be safe, or even fast, hard hitting moves that aren’t. You get more tools to balance things with and make them more unique.
 

Necro'lic

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#62
LancerStaff LancerStaff Right here is exactly it. Separate move statistics. The more things you can change, the more varied you can make moves. I had this idea years ago where shield damage and priority were based off of their own thing, and heavies would have higher levels of these across the board, while faster characters would have less.

Let's say the new priority system has a scale of 0-10, where 10 beats 9 and 0 is transcendent priority. If two moves of the same priority meet, they clash.

For example, DK's F-tilt could have a priority of 6, whereas Meta Knight's could have a priority of 5. You can mix and match these based on how you think they should work. As another example, maybe Marth's disjointed moves would have lower priority of about 2-3, even on the tip, while close rangers like Kirby, Jiggs, and Wii Fit Trainer would have much higher priority at 5-7, thus allowing them to take the offensive on Marth's universally low priority should they get into his dead zone.

As for shield damage, I know there's already a system like this in place, but it should be separate from the damage of the move in all cases. So for example, maybe a shield could have a certain amount of health. Let's say the average is 100. Heavy characters could have higher amounts like 140, or just defensive characters in general like Zelda could have higher than average. As for moves, you can have a higher damage move have a lower amount of shield damage, or even none at all.

The point is that it creates a lot of possibilities for different movesets and attributes.
 

Darches

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#63
As a game designer, I'd suggest a complete mechanical overhaul, like the removal of perfect shields, auto cancels, knockback scaling, rage, staling, and BS in general. Most of those mechanics are very unnecessary and reduce the elegance of the game. Almost every Smash mechanic serves to benefit ninjas or hurt heavies, with rage being the only outlier (and even that was only a slight benefit for the heavies). I made a long-*** list somewhere but it's irrelevant since people think I'm crazy and wouldn't listen.

For starters though, maybe they should make the game literally not broken. Many heavy attacks like Dedede's Jab or Bowser Bomb don't even connect properly when you DO land the hit. It's OK to have SOME bad frame data, but useless grabs, +2% damage, and **** recovery won't cut it. If ninja combos can deal 20+% (even more against heavies) then attacks like Bower Bomb should be doing far, far more damage. Warlock Punch should be a OHKO for example; nobody could argue with that. Examples of doing heavies justice are the now super-armored Headbutt and faster/stronger Volcano Kick. The new frame 60 startup was actually on my list of changes!

Like literally if Ganondorf could survive past 30% he might not be ****. But that's not the case. It's like carrying a rocket launcher... With no rockets.

And it's not just about making heavies viable, my list also makes the game more fun. Like shield breaks are really boring; they should just explode with additional damage and knockback added to the hit that broke the shield. Fast and furious, rather than slow and predictable. And what's up with all those sourspots? Or the excessive reliance on attacking, with weak shields and throws? It makes for uninteresting combat and reduced options. Obviously I play Bowser now because I like to mix it up (and also Ganondorf is just bad).
 
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Quillion

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#64
Separate move statistics. The more things you can change, the more varied you can make moves.

In addition to what you said, I still have my idea of separating hitstun from knockback. As of right now, the only way to give a move more hitstun... is to give it more knockback.

Each Smash game has a programmed value that is multiplied by the amount of knockback received to determine the amount of frames a character is locked in hitstun after being hit; for example, Melee has a hitstun multiplier of 0.4 frames per unit of knockback, so a hit that deals 100 units of knockback will leave the target in hitstun for 40 frames.
This means that characters with worse frame data are inherently crippled by this system because they can't act out of their moves fast enough to chase down a knocked-away opponent.

BUT... if we had moves that have high hitstun AND low knockback, heavies wouldn't be as crippled. Their moves can still be risky and high-commitment, but once they get that hit, they can follow up better.

Darches Darches : There's no need to start from scratch; what we have is already solid with some glaring flaws. But those flaws can be fixed.

Also, sorry, but we can't just buff a heavy to do a Sheik combo's worth of damage in a single hit. That would create a skill imbalance with the characters.

One last thing: give us that list you're talking about. People here will want to listen and make suggestions!
 
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Crystanium

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#65
The way I see it is if balance is to be maintained, a big character is going to be a hard-hitter and is going to survive longer due to weight. If a character is going to hit harder, then there needs to be a trade-off, which means the character's attacks are going to be slower. Another thing is each character from a series, for the most part, will play a certain way based off what they show in their own series. This seems to be different from traditional fighting games, where most characters debuted in a fighting game.
 

Necro'lic

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#66
The way I see it is if balance is to be maintained, a big character is going to be a hard-hitter and is going to survive longer due to weight. If a character is going to hit harder, then there needs to be a trade-off, which means the character's attacks are going to be slower. Another thing is each character from a series, for the most part, will play a certain way based off what they show in their own series. This seems to be different from traditional fighting games, where most characters debuted in a fighting game.
The problem with this is that being heavyweight by itself has both an upside and downside. You survive for longer, but you are comboed easier. And the inverse is true with lightweights. Going by that, heavies have neither an advantage nor disadvantage after measuring this, and thus they have the freedom to have faster attacks as well.
 

Crystanium

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#67
The problem with this is that being heavyweight by itself has both an upside and downside. You survive for longer, but you are comboed easier. And the inverse is true with lightweights. Going by that, heavies have neither an advantage nor disadvantage after measuring this, and thus they have the freedom to have faster attacks as well.
Your last sentence makes no sense to me. Please clarify. Having heavyweights move faster would seem to require other characters who are fast to be even faster. It seems Captain Falcon was the fastest character in SSB and SSBM, but when SSBB was released, Sonic was the fastest and Captain Falcon's speed dropped. It's been the same way with Bowser, who has always been the heaviest since SSBM. If there isn't a trade-off, then there isn't any balance.
 

Darches

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#68
He's saying that heavyweights have slower speed without any benefits, which naturally makes them crap. This is correct.
Also, here's my list.
 
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Quillion

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#69
Your last sentence makes no sense to me. Please clarify. Having heavyweights move faster would seem to require other characters who are fast to be even faster. It seems Captain Falcon was the fastest character in SSB and SSBM, but when SSBB was released, Sonic was the fastest and Captain Falcon's speed dropped. It's been the same way with Bowser, who has always been the heaviest since SSBM. If there isn't a trade-off, then there isn't any balance.
He didn't say anything about moving faster (although I do agree that heavies could have certain mobility advantages). He was saying that there's no reason to keep giving heavies bad frame data just because the developers think they can survive longer. In reality, heavies are easy to combo, hard to launch while lightweights are hard to combo, easy to launch.

So giving heavies poor frame data almost all around makes them inherently worse than the speedsters.

He's saying that heavyweights have slower speed without any benefits, which naturally makes them crap. This is correct.
Also, here's my list.
Let me take a look at your universal changes:

  • Almost all grabs are frame 7, with generally 25 frames endlag. This includes dash and pivot grabs.
  • Grab ranges are normalized for consistency, and slightly better in general.
  • Grab is a unique action (instead of shield + attack) so pivot grabs are now easy to perform.
  • 6 frames will be more common for the fastest attacks. Some moves will be slowed down, but most attacks will be faster.
  • Generally reduced attack endlag (tends to be around 20-25 frames for most attacks).
  • Generally faster dash attacks (startlag will usually be ~10 frames or faster).
  • Smash attacks will be faster in general, especially on heavies. This creates more options.
  • Charging smash attacks no longer makes you take more knockback, that's just silly.
  • OPTIONAL: Smash attacks pierce shields. Defense crush!
So faster attacks all around. Nothing out of the ordinary here...

I don't get why you have to make grabbing a unique option, though. Shield grabbing is vital to the RPS game, and we already have the Z button as a "unique" grab button.

  • You can no longer jump out of shield, which means upB is no longer the de facto OoS option. This allows for more varied punish options and benefits characters with poor aerials/upB's. It also also stops punishing players with weird controls such as myself. A 1 frame slide input shouldn't be necessary to counter a badly spaced Sheik fAir.
  • Drop shield lag reduced after successful block 7 -> 1
  • Perfect shielding removed. Breaking stuff is fun. No more cheating the system.
  • Shield regeneration reduced.
  • Shield break leads to explosion dealing last hit +10%(?) with instant medium knockback (like a kill throw).
  • Automaticly pummel and struggle. Button mashing 'ain't cool, competitive, or hardware friendly.
Shield endlag being on-block cancelled would be fun. Adds more risk-reward to shielding in the first place.

But I'm not in favor of taking out perfect shielding. The parry in Ultimate looks fantastic and looks more fun to play with! I'd personally make it so that if you get a normal block, the parry is automatically disabled until you drop your shield and put it up again.

  • Stale-move negation removed. (It just makes bad characters worse due to their lack of options)
Nah, this is vital to encouraging the use of different moves for combos. What we really need is a better distinction between combo moves and kill moves, with the heavies getting more combo moves.

  • Auto-cancel removed. No more mindless frame data complexities. ORDER HAS BEEN RESTORED! (plus the game is easier to play)
  • Landing lag = endlag of any action + standard landing lag. Just add the lag and voila. Obviously this huge change requires total rebalance, but I assure you it's worth it.
  • Airdodge endlag increased 6 -> 10 frames (like spot dodge).
I already like how landing lag is handled in Ultimate. It's low to begin with, and autocanceling helps moves with overly long aerial endlag. Air Dodge endlag staling to encourage offense is much better than keeping it fixed on a high or low value.

  • You can act sooner after being spiked or foot-stooled.
No; I will not tolerate meteors being nigh-useless like in Melee and Brawl. Just make them have normal hitstun like in Smash 4.

  • Simplified knockback formula. Knockback is determined more based on player damage.
  • Remove/change rage/knockback scaling?
  • High weight provides knockback resistance that scales up with damage. Heavies won't be punching bags as much.
  • Low weight provides increased knockback that scales down with damage. Feather weights won't be mandatory glass cannons.
Getting rid of the Base Knockback and Knockback Growth parameters would make moves far more difficult to balance. BKB and KBG are important in determining whether a move is a combo tool, finisher, or simply a shake-off attack that doesn't combo or kill.

Fun fact: weight already affects scaled knockback and not base knockback. Just look at the knockback formula.

  • Less fully intangible moves. Punishment and edgeguarding actually works.
  • Damage = (startlag + endlag)*range*disjoint*mobility*etc. (heavies will be breaking shields easily now) I don't actually have a real formula but it'd sure make balancing easy.
Intangible moves are important for reversals/combo-breaking, though. Maybe aerial recoveries can lack intangibility so that edgeguarding does have a point, but grounded recovery moves still have it.

Damage needs to be separate from all those factors for the same reasons as what I stated with knockback; it helps balancing to have more parameters.

  • Characters have the same item throw frame data. This actually hurts heavies a lot when fighting bananas and sawblades.
  • Spot dodging lets you grab items like air dodging.
  • OPTIONAL: You can still grabbed while dodging.
  • Throws are generally stronger.
Won't comment on these.

Overall, there are some hits and misses to your proposed changes. But I do like how you were able to think of many things! I'm mostly in support of faster moves to help heavies, but the landing lag as done in Ultimate is already fine. And attack parameters need MORE values, as simplifying them would just hurt heavies even more.
 

Teeb147

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#70
I have mixed feelings about making heavies better (depending on what's made better), but I do know they need to be changed for high level play.
I mean, I think it's worth wondering about what could actually bring good balance, so I like this thread.

I don't think they should be streamlined and all have the same perks just because they're heavy. Some could compensate (for being slow, etc) in some ways, and some could have other stuff, if it makes sense for their character.
Also, I don't think they should have too easy of kill confirms,.. mostly because they already do so much damage, now imagine they get you at low% and then you're done for because they can combo into a finisher. At least, it needs to be thought out and tweeked to not be too harsh..
I just don't like being ko'ed so early in dmg%. :p

I like the idea for changing shield damage & hitstun more spefically so that they have that going for them on some or a lot of their moves.

I don't think Bowser should be as fast on the ground as they made him this time around. I think it's iconic that they be slower but more powerful, at least for the most part. (they can still have enough fast moves to make them viable.)
But it does bring up a question for slowness in general though.. How do you tweek them so they can deal with fast projectile users and zoners?
 
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Crystanium

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#71
He didn't say anything about moving faster (although I do agree that heavies could have certain mobility advantages). He was saying that there's no reason to keep giving heavies bad frame data just because the developers think they can survive longer. In reality, heavies are easy to combo, hard to launch while lightweights are hard to combo, easy to launch.

So giving heavies poor frame data almost all around makes them inherently worse than the speedsters.
I accidentally caused confusion by using Sonic and Captain Falcon as examples in terms of running. I also had attacks in mind. I don't know what you mean by "poor frame data". For example, I don't think anyone would expect Bowser to deal 23% damage while being active on frames 15-16, rather than frames 22-23. Something tells me that amount of damage and the knock-back would be slightly reduced.
 

Mario & Sonic Guy

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#72
I accidentally caused confusion by using Sonic and Captain Falcon as examples in terms of running. I also had attacks in mind. I don't know what you mean by "poor frame data". For example, I don't think anyone would expect Bowser to deal 23% damage while being active on frames 15-16, rather than frames 22-23. Something tells me that amount of damage and the knock-back would be slightly reduced.
What people mean by "poor frame data" is that an attack's start-up lag is either too long, or that the ending lag is long enough for the fighter to get punished right back. Sometimes it's both, and even the FAF period has to be taken into consideration.

Bowser's f-smash is definitely an attack that has to have some start-up lag, as it can KO Mario at 66% damage at the center of any Omega form stage. However, because the f-smash doesn't offer any sort of shield damage bonus, it's hardly a threat to shields, even when they're slightly damaged, leaving Bowser very vulnerable to punishment if the attack gets blocked.

If the shield damage bonus was stronger, however, then the f-smash probably would've been more dangerous for shields to block.
 

Darches

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#73
I don't get why you have to make grabbing a unique option, though. Shield grabbing is vital to the RPS game, and we already have the Z button as a "unique" grab button.
The window for pivot grabbing is unusually strict, and sometimes trying to zAir results in an attack instead of recovery grab.

Nah, this is vital to encouraging the use of different moves for combos. What we really need is a better distinction between combo moves and kill moves, with the heavies getting more combo moves.
First, I will continue to use the same combo attacks at the same percents regardless of stale move negation. In Bowser's case, that's uThrow > uTilt/nAir, then uThrow > anything, then uThrow to uAir. Stale move negation does not increase diversity, as diversity should be inherent in the characters. It instead only hurts characters with inversatile neutral games. The only thing it has done for me is make me use dThrow a bit more, which I wanted to do anyway because it looks cool. Second, the distinction between combo and kill moves is already clear as day for most characters due to knockback scaling. Third, heavies shouldn't be combo'ing. They should be crushing. Well, most at least.

If I played an FPS and my favorite gun got weaker the more I used it, I'd be pretty upset. Forced to use a sniper like always.

No; I will not tolerate meteors being nigh-useless like in Melee and Brawl. Just make them have normal hitstun like in Smash 4.
This change is important because meteor smashes already don't work on ninjas, but they work TOO well against heavies (often killing at 0%). The interplay between spikes, stage spikes, ledge trumping, etc., is not yet something I have a good fix for, so this change can be ignored.

Getting rid of the Base Knockback and Knockback Growth parameters would make moves far more difficult to balance. BKB and KBG are important in determining whether a move is a combo tool, finisher, or simply a shake-off attack that doesn't combo or kill.

Damage needs to be separate from all those factors for the same reasons as what I stated with knockback; it helps balancing to have more parameters.
See the thing is, the game could be balanced around these new mechanics (such as the lack of auto cancel). We'd just have to apply a non-linear knockback scale to attack damage. Attacks that deal low damage should still combo, and attacks that deal high damage will still kill. The biggest effect of my knockback change is that it's basically easier to kill with anything, making all characters moves more viable and improving option diversity across the board. Probably.

The current knockback system makes ninjas just as powerful as heavies, which is horrible for balance. Things like Fox's uSmash or Mario's dSmash come to mind. Or bAir's in general.

Also, sorry, but we can't just buff a heavy to do a Sheik combo's worth of damage in a single hit. That would create a skill imbalance with the characters.
Are you trying to tell me that Sheik takes skill? HAHAHAHA. Any character takes a little practice, and fTilt > fTilt > fTilt > isn't exactly hard. Sheik requires more dextrous inputs while Bowser requires better reads. Different types of skill? Frankly I find mind games far more interesting; the real core of fighting games. Plus Bowser already does a Sheik combo's worth of damage when he grabs people. Obviously it didn't break the game, it just made him usable.
 
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Synnett

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#74
I've been maining Bowser for almost three years in Melee, and by far the worst issue is that stupid landing lag. Bowser gets 6 frame of lag whenever he lands, his aerials have 30 and 40 frames of landing lag, split in half with L cancel it still gives him 15 and 20 frames.

Bowser has everything to be a good character. He has an amazing set of tools and great neutral, along with great punish game / edgeguards and defense. But whenever you land is a commitment. Landing gives the opponent an opening. This is so stupid he has stumps as legs he should be able to act instantly. In some matchups it's so hard to just land on the ground, coming down from platforms is an accomplishment against Marth, and he would actually be good against icies if he didn't have so much lag. There's also his 8 frames jumpsquat, but that's another thing.

I think the main issue with heavies is that they can hardly ever get their footing on the stage.
 

Necro'lic

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#75
I think the big takeaway here is that weight by itself has both an upside and downside, so balancing around it as if it was an upside is a mistake. At the same time, we shouldn't just consider heavy characters only as brute style, high damage, low combo ability fighters only. For example, you can have Bowser be the slow attack, high damage grappler, King Dedede can solidify his role as a trapper and mind game machine with a bit of combo potential, Ganon can be the combo centric heavy character with a small amount of grapple/tech chase in the form of Flame Choke, and DK can be a balanced combination of all of these as the "master of none" heavy archetype.

I want the heavies to be good, but I also want them to be unique and play differently. Not every heavy needs to be a tank with only power. Heck, some could even have lower than average kill potential if you really want.
 

Darches

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#76
TBH I like the 6 frames of hard landing lag because:
  • It makes him feel like a heavy beast
  • It can be canceled by landing at any time during sideB (in Sm4sh)
Since Ultimate is removing Bowser's only tech (and an important one at that), I'd expect him to be made stronger to compensate.
 
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Quillion

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#77
I have mixed feelings about making heavies better (depending on what's made better), but I do know they need to be changed for high level play.
I mean, I think it's worth wondering about what could actually bring good balance, so I like this thread.

I don't think they should be streamlined and all have the same perks just because they're heavy. Some could compensate (for being slow, etc) in some ways, and some could have other stuff, if it makes sense for their character.
Also, I don't think they should have too easy of kill confirms,.. mostly because they already do so much damage, now imagine they get you at low% and then you're done for because they can combo into a finisher. At least, it needs to be thought out and tweeked to not be too harsh..
I just don't like being ko'ed so early in dmg%. :p

I like the idea for changing shield damage & hitstun more spefically so that they have that going for them on some or a lot of their moves.

I don't think Bowser should be as fast on the ground as they made him this time around. I think it's iconic that they be slower but more powerful, at least for the most part. (they can still have enough fast moves to make them viable.)
But it does bring up a question for slowness in general though.. How do you tweek them so they can deal with fast projectile users and zoners?


The window for pivot grabbing is unusually strict, and sometimes trying to zAir results in an attack instead of recovery grab.
It certainly is, and for the Wii and Wii U titles, Z is essentially treated as a macro for shield+A, meaning that there will be some flaws in how it's implemented. I don't see that going away since SSBU is probably going to allow play with a sideways Joy Con.

First, I will continue to use the same combo attacks at the same percents regardless of stale move negation. In Bowser's case, that's uThrow > uTilt/nAir, then uThrow > anything, then uThrow to uAir. Stale move negation does not increase diversity, as diversity should be inherent in the characters. It instead only hurts characters with inversatile neutral games. The only thing it has done for me is make me use dThrow a bit more, which I wanted to do anyway because it looks cool. Second, the distinction between combo and kill moves is already clear as day for most characters due to knockback scaling. Third, heavies shouldn't be combo'ing. They should be crushing. Well, most at least.

If I played an FPS and my favorite gun got weaker the more I used it, I'd be pretty upset. Forced to use a sniper like always.
Yes, diversity should be inherent in the characters. Which is why heavies should have more combo moves.

And yes, heavies should feel like they are crushing, but I think that if we had high-hitstun, low-knockback moves that aren't meteors on grounded opponents. They can crush and combo at the same time!

This change is important because meteor smashes already don't work on ninjas, but they work TOO well against heavies (often killing at 0%). The interplay between spikes, stage spikes, ledge trumping, etc., is not yet something I have a good fix for, so this change can be ignored.
The problem is that speedsters have small hitboxes and heavies big hitboxes in general, not their weight.

See the thing is, the game could be balanced around these new mechanics (such as the lack of auto cancel). We'd just have to apply a non-linear knockback scale to attack damage. Attacks that deal low damage should still combo, and attacks that deal high damage will still kill. The biggest effect of my knockback change is that it's basically easier to kill with anything, making all characters moves more viable and improving option diversity across the board. Probably.

The current knockback system makes ninjas just as powerful as heavies, which is horrible for balance. Things like Fox's uSmash or Mario's dSmash come to mind. Or bAir's in general.
Maybe it could be balanced, but it would be really difficult since knockback would be entirely dependent on damage.

Again, a better system of balancing is separating hitstun from knockback, so that we can have high-hitstun, low-knockback moves for heavies.

Are you trying to tell me that Sheik takes skill? HAHAHAHA. Any character takes a little practice, and fTilt > fTilt > fTilt > isn't exactly hard. Sheik requires more dextrous inputs while Bowser requires better reads. Different types of skill? Frankly I find mind games far more interesting; the real core of fighting games. Plus Bowser already does a Sheik combo's worth of damage when he grabs people. Obviously it didn't break the game, it just made him usable.
You see, this is why we need staling and more move diversity on combos. Spam combos definitely deserve to have their effectiveness weakened, though I would like for them to increase in BKB and decrease in KBG, so that they have less combo and finishing effectiveness.

As it stands now, the characters that require more execution skill are generally better than the characters that require reads because the former's moves are just incredibly safe. Limiting the speedsters' combos would drain the fun away from the game, and so will giving heavies the ability to do a speedster combo's worth of damage. There can't be an execution-mindgame imbalance; it would be best if every character has some mix of execution and mindgames instead of relying on one over the other.

I've been maining Bowser for almost three years in Melee, and by far the worst issue is that stupid landing lag. Bowser gets 6 frame of lag whenever he lands, his aerials have 30 and 40 frames of landing lag, split in half with L cancel it still gives him 15 and 20 frames.

Bowser has everything to be a good character. He has an amazing set of tools and great neutral, along with great punish game / edgeguards and defense. But whenever you land is a commitment. Landing gives the opponent an opening. This is so stupid he has stumps as legs he should be able to act instantly. In some matchups it's so hard to just land on the ground, coming down from platforms is an accomplishment against Marth, and he would actually be good against icies if he didn't have so much lag. There's also his 8 frames jumpsquat, but that's another thing.

I think the main issue with heavies is that they can hardly ever get their footing on the stage.
That and again, Bowser's DPS isn't very good. Slow, powerful attacks don't really mean much if speedsters can do even more damage in a quick combo.

I think the big takeaway here is that weight by itself has both an upside and downside, so balancing around it as if it was an upside is a mistake. At the same time, we shouldn't just consider heavy characters only as brute style, high damage, low combo ability fighters only. For example, you can have Bowser be the slow attack, high damage grappler, King Dedede can solidify his role as a trapper and mind game machine with a bit of combo potential, Ganon can be the combo centric heavy character with a small amount of grapple/tech chase in the form of Flame Choke, and DK can be a balanced combination of all of these as the "master of none" heavy archetype.

I want the heavies to be good, but I also want them to be unique and play differently. Not every heavy needs to be a tank with only power. Heck, some could even have lower than average kill potential if you really want.
Well, we do have ROB as a heavy with bad kill potential with a focus on damage racking. So we're getting some progress on that front.

To be honest, I don't think the slow attack, high damage archetype works well in Smash in its current state nor any of its past states. Lack of DPS is still a major issue if Bowser ever decides to stay in his current role. I'm sorry if I'm sounding annoying at this point, but I really, REALLY think we need hitstun-knockback separation.
 

Mario & Sonic Guy

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#78
That and again, Bowser's DPS isn't very good. Slow, powerful attacks don't really mean much if speedsters can do even more damage in a quick combo.
Ironically, damage dealt from a single hit plays a huge factor in how quickly a KO can be made. Speedsters who can deal just as much damage as Bowser's f-smash with their combo hits will end up making KOs much later, if the finishing hit lacks the proper knockback statistics to go alongside its low damage output.
 

Quillion

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#79
Ironically, damage dealt from a single hit plays a huge factor in how quickly a KO can be made. Speedsters who can deal just as much damage as Bowser's f-smash with their combo hits will end up making KOs much later, if the finishing hit lacks the proper knockback statistics to go alongside its low damage output.
Point taken, but considering that the speedsters' options for dealing ~30-50% damage (whether in a single hit or in a combo) are way safer than on heavies, it still doesn't mean much.

As of yet, speedsters absolutely have the tools to work around having low knockback stats. Some speedsters like Fox and Pikachu outright have finishers with power that puts heavies to shame!

On the other hand, heavies generally don't have the tools to work around their bad frame data and mobility. ROB and Snake could certainly count as heavies with unique advantages, but neither of them feel as heavy as I would like.
 

Crystanium

Smash Hero
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#80
What people mean by "poor frame data" is that an attack's start-up lag is either too long, or that the ending lag is long enough for the fighter to get punished right back. Sometimes it's both, and even the FAF period has to be taken into consideration.
It makes sense, though. Bowser is throwing himself.

Bowser's f-smash is definitely an attack that has to have some start-up lag, as it can KO Mario at 66% damage at the center of any Omega form stage. However, because the f-smash doesn't offer any sort of shield damage bonus, it's hardly a threat to shields, even when they're slightly damaged, leaving Bowser very vulnerable to punishment if the attack gets blocked.
What do you mean? SmashWiki says, "Its outstanding damage output also threatens shields, as they will receive severe damage from it."

If the shield damage bonus was stronger, however, then the f-smash probably would've been more dangerous for shields to block.
I think the problem is that perfect shielding is too easy to make an f-smash easy to counter.
 
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