How They ACTUALLY Make Fighting Games Easier
#guiltygear #guiltygearstrive #fightinggames
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Many long time fighting game players complain about the genre getting “easier” for new people. This IS true, but most people overlook the things devs do to make the games eaasier. Let’s take a look at them!
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Making the games "easier" is a double-edged sword. High damage is a good example. Sure, it's easier to win because the damage is so high, but does that high damage not also make it easier to lose? Same with conversion ability. If every hit leads to a full combo, your defense needs to be better than on point if you're looking to win and good luck with that in an anime fighter. Mechanics like YRC give new players an easy way out of pressure, but knowing this, there's another mind game to play in your pressure where you can try to bait it and punish them for it. It's not necessarily that the game is "easier" but rather more accessible.
For example, the main differences between getting your ass kicked by Chipp in Xrd and getting your ass kicked by Chipp in Strive is that it takes less time in Strive because the damage is higher and you get to listen to different music while it happens. It's not necessarily easier to beat Chipp, but getting to the point where you can beat Chipp is. You still need to deal with his flurry of high/low/left/right and strike/throw mixups while also hitting him in the process and baiting his reversals. Sure, you need to do this fewer times to win in Strive than in Xrd, but Chipp also needs to hit you with fewer mixups. His mixups are more threatening here, and with RC allowing every stray hit to lead to a full combo into wallbreak giving Chipp more meter, losing to him is easier than ever.
The super dash anti air situation is actually why I never continued playing DBZ after it stopped being a brand fresh new game.
I'd say the more limited gatlings contribute to Strives beginner-friendliness as well. Say you're learning a new character in +R, and you hit 5K. You have so many options that it's difficult to figure out what your best combo would be or what would work. In Strive, if you hit a 5K you can do 2D, 5D, Command Normals, Special Cancel, Dash Cancel and Jump Cancel. It's a lot easier to find the most effective option with only 5 (+ the amount of specials) possibilities rather than all the buttons you could potentially hit in +R. It's also a lot less mentally taxing to defend against, generally.
One way to think of Damage, is with both players as percentages.
Lets say a lesser skilled player has a 33% chance of winning an interaction, and the opponent has a 67% chance
If a game has high damage, less interactions will be needed per match in order to win. If a Lesser skilled player only needs to get 2 or 3 lucky hits, it will happen more commonly then say, if they have to win 5 interactions in order to win the round. Especially true when you consider the more skilled player can likely get more damage off, AND they might know how to set up favorable situations like the corner. This is also why being perfected in Strive doesnt feel as bad/is less impressive because you, or your opponent, can just land 2 or 3 mix-ups and you win.
You did forget to explain how strong jump-ins vs weak anti-airs makes it easier *for casuals*. If I was to guess, it has to do with having a straight forward, easy to understand option across the board to get in during neutral but thats my guess. The answer might be more in-depth than that
anyone else getting earraped by that sound between points
They just remove stuff and replace it with damage. Its kinda boring and frustrating to get hit by some bonobo brain nonsense and it hits as if that person is godlike when you know theyre not
Mortal Kombat 11 has really souped up jumpkicks and awful antiair capabilities. It sucks.
I dont like more types of motion inputs cause its harder I like it cause its more fun. Having only quartercircles is boring imo.
I think having a range of motion inputs is pretty fun. It can allow some characters to "feel" distinct even with their inputs (like GL BT's). I don't think they are nessecary but they can be fun when they are there. Though there is nothing wrong with just having qcf and qcb imo.
Raw 360 inputs can go rot in hell though. Especially when the character is centered around using that move raw (i.e. Zangief).
Would recommend not using that sound for points LK makes. It's a bit loud and startling. Mini jumpscare every time.
This all makes sense the only thing is if something is hard on your level people will always learn and do it but for my scrubby behind we just mashing down here.
It’s funny that combo conversions and resets to neutral both make the game easier cuz they’re like two side of the same coin, where they’re about creating/removing preplanned situations. I do agree though, because both of them hamper whoever the “better player” is, and lessens the gap, especially for intermediate players, who I feel are the ACTUAL target audience of “making the game easier” changes
Thanks for your insightful videos man. I'm a casual+ type of player. Always admired ppl who play fighting games at a high level for a long time. I just never had the patience to put in the work. Your videos put some things into perspective that people at your level rarely talk about.
Something Tekken has done which I’m still on the fence about is boosting damage and wall carry for a lot of chars.
It’s gotten to the point where “ideal” combos start from midstage in order to get the perfect wallsplat where chars often still get their full wall combo.
Which is nice that there’s a boost for chars. But it also feels like the combo structure has gotten too homogenized, like there’s no decision needed to be made between wall carry/damage/Oki. You just do your BnB and the reward for execution investment is enough.
Kinda wish they added more routes that offered more pros/cons as opposed to having this default Swiss army combo.
I would say controller slop was really important to make fighting games easier. You dont need to do perfectly precise motions, at least for capcom games. As long as you're close enough, your inputs will register into a move. Of course taking advantage of that gives us all kinds of advanced tactics that better players take advantage of like pianoing and negative edge.
for me combo conversion isnt bad depending on how its implemented I really like when big combos are from specific starters. if a jab and your optimal starter both lead into a long combo, long combos become less interesting since they happen all the time. Even if the optimal starter gets more dmg I like when stray hits lead to shorter less dmg combos building up tension to when someone gets the big hit for a big combo
For me, a certain portion (but not all) of the fun I find in Fighting games comes from the amount of effort I have to put forward to get a Victory, whether it be Movement and Combos in Old GG or Defending and Punishing in 3s I want to put effort forth to earn my Win.
When games dumb everything down to such a degree as Strive with damage and combos, nothing I do in the game feels valuable or memorable and nothing I do feels earned.
I’m for motion inputs being simplified. Tekken, Soul Calibur, Virtua Fighter, and DOA prove you can have satisfying deep fighting with mostly command normals. Not sure why people get upset when motions are removed.
I love easier combos. Blazblue introduced me to the gatling system, which I loved in GGXrd as well, UMVC3, Skull girls, Killer Instinct, and so on.
Input buffer is a big one in my opinion. Though I guess that only applies to non-competitive players kind of like you what you say about combos, players will get good and learn the inputs.
Trying to play old games and act instantly out of every button or blockstun or whatever can be frustrating. You just have to get better slowly over time.
It's funny how many people are talking about motion inputs when it barely came up in the video.
I’m pretty sure when new players and devs talk about games being easy they mean easy to have fun in ie easily accessible. Notice how the most popular casual fighting games all have easier inputs or combos (smash,dbfz,mk,and 3d games) I think most fgc people are so caught up in games being easy because they assume they mean easy to learn and although there is definitely value in making games that way I think most players just want to be able to play the game without having to take a month long class on fgc terms, inputs, and concepts
Returning to neutral is a big one. I remember when DBFZ came out, I never attempted to grind a fighting game before but my brother played MvC3 causally in the past. That was the biggest thing he said he loved, that if you die you don't get put in a "oh shit what are they gonna do now" situation. Always feeling like there is a chance to fight back.
I see forced neutral resets as a way to make fighting games harder. If your opponent is constantly in disadvantage it’s not hard to just keep mashing pressure but winning neutral is normally decided by the better player.
as a player who bounced off fighting games until strive, higher damage with shorter combos helped a lot. not having to spend a bunch of time training at first to get ok damage helped lead towards intentionality faster. also the reset to neutral is definitely something that helped, the feeling of being stuck in the corner the whole round after one mistake as a new player not knowing how to get out is incredibly disheartening.
I've gone back to GBVS after thinking it was mad slow to kinda "detox" from all this high damage crazyness – the new update improved all walk speed and gave options for meter so now I'm having a ton of fun with it
Hot take: pvp games are not hard or easy. As a player you are either good or bad at the game. The difficulty scales to your opponent.
Never thought of something like resetting to neutral to be a "easier" thing, but it did remove one of my long-time "I hate fighting game" reasons was "I am in the corner, I don't know what to do, and no one will tell me what I can do." Even when the days of SFIV and I gave FGs another chance and the internet was around to tell me, it was still very frustrating to not get to play the game until I died.
"The game will let me get out of the corner" due to wall breaks or Bursts was a very simple way for the game to tell you how, give you more time playing the game, and all around giving you breathing room(even if it isn't much, it's more than nothing).
Who are you trying to flex on? Your cousin?
imagine jack-o with no wallbreaks in the game 🤢
Part of what makes golddick lewisson fun for me is funny typhoons are somewhat challenging but satsifying with all the half circles
This examination helps me see why Skullgirls always felt weird to me in terms of accessibility, in that on the one hand it's kinda easier (at least for 2011) because of several QoL situations around preventing unblockables, buffering inputs generously, and avoiding inputs besides quarter circle, DP, and the occasional 360 (which also had its own special QoL buffer system to prevent accidentally jumping), but it also has none of the simplifying features you mentioned, except maybe combos off everything. Neutral never gets reset to automatically, and resets mean that oki isn't really a thing, so you are basically constantly holding mix, even while getting hit, unless you can block and pushblock the right move; and damage is quite low, where optimal play is still in the 6-touch range (at least in total, it is split among the number of characters chosen). Not sure about anti-air strength, I don't recall it feeling particularly weak, so that likely also counts.
I'm not sure how jump-ins being too good compared to anti-airs leads to a game being easier? I'd think it just makes offense scarier and harder to deal with using basic tools, which would make the game harder to grasp at a beginner level for the same reason forced resets to neutral are beginner-friendly.
honestly a big fan of the wall in strive
I've been thinking that probably the formula for team games (especially the DBFZ style) might become more popular in the future.
The idea that individual characters are a lot simpler and easier, and part of the strategy is the team building might be something that has more widespread appeal for people that come from other competitive games. Here in the West especially, almost all forms of pvp games are team-based, MOBAs come to mind. There, characters are typically pretty easy to learn, but the strategy for correct team building supplies some of the missing difficulty.
I could see more fighting games in the future trying to cater to that demographic.
Good video however I think it should specify that the stuff mentioned makes the game easier to play at a mid to high level. I think real beginners and casuals are the ones who benefit from simple inputs and auto coos.
Melty blood is one case where its an easier game but the dmg output is lower than the last version
This is why I appreciate games like KoF. The game doesn't flat out give you everything.
I recall some guy blasting you in the comments on the “what fighting games are hard” video because you said they’re all hard, but now you’re out here saying how games can be made easier
That guy was fuckin right make a REAL fighting game difficulty tier list you coward
Maybe I'm the odd one out but i actually dislike high damage games. I'm very much a fighting game noob and find that I the higher damage only makes it harder for me to learn and its less fun as I can get hit twice and die combine this with the speed of Strive (and that its best of 3), I'm not learning much. I think my best games are ones where rounds/matches last longer because I feel like I have time to actually learn what's going on inside of it. Soul Cal 6 and DBZ are good ones for me.
Honestly dbfz has very low dmg for a verses game shit takes forever
I’ve hated the wall the moment I saw it. As a Johnny player, it told me he’d never be like anything prior.
Millia doesn't deal massive damage… Millia does not receive a combo after any hit… I'm telling you, she just feels out of sorts. This primitive game does not allow her to fly.
Why all these complex setup, wakeup options, if the wall turn everything into neutral. Limited air movement. Character suffered more than others in strive and this is a fact (faust no comments). The damage has already been done. You have started the match, but you have already permanent suffered.
This game is against you.
Guilty gear will never be the same again. The current trend is to simplify fighting games as much as possible so that any stupid degenerate can get a combo conversion for almost any hit and deal 80% damage, and sometimes 100.
This sad fashion is in stark contrast to old and flexible characters like Millia, who used to require delicate approach, skill and virtuosity. Now it's all depreciated against the backdrop of spam machines or gorillas. You see everything yourself.
What was the ending theme song it sounds like it’s from melty but I need a name.
High dmg is why I don't play strive, I never thought of it from this angle. I generally have zero issue with simple controls, or most of the other changes people seem scared of, but I don't love big damage at all.
I always love when you talk about this topic because you will actually say that so much of what people say is bs lmao.
They should quit. Accessibility is killing fighting games. SF6 has stylish mode for gods sake
conversion abillity is huge, fighting games used to take more timing and patience to land a strike. now with ridiculous combos/damage and oki being a staple, you can literally get a single hard knockdown by guessing in neutral and convert it into a round win easily. it makes the game more accessible but it can also feel incredibly stupid and spammy when you lose to someone that has maxed out their mash pressure but has no idea how to block and lacks other fundamentals.
If you connect a normal just show what buttons to press in order to keep the combo going. When you get a counter hit show what combos you can get.
Converting a hit into a combo is the greatest gatekeeper from giving new players the satisfaction of being able too play.
Giving full conversion of a hit makes it easier for a fighting game player from another franchise to learn the game but it doesn't help new players get into the game